Accused Fort Hood shooter seeks to move trial venue

SAN ANTONIO Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:04am EST

Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 31 in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in an undated Bell County Sheriff's Office photograph. REUTERS/Bell County Sheriff's Office/Handout

Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 31 in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in an undated Bell County Sheriff's Office photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Bell County Sheriff's Office/Handout

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SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan on Thursday will ask a military judge to move his murder trial out of Fort Hood, Texas where he is charged with killing 13 people during a shooting rampage in 2009, according to a statement from Fort Hood.

During Thursday's pretrial hearing, lawyers for Hasan will also ask that the makeup of the officers on the jury be changed, and that Army Judge Colonel Tara Osborn reconsider the procedure for sentencing Hasan if he is convicted. The statement did not provide further details on those requests.

Hasan has been in custody since the attack, in which 32 people were wounded. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, a law professor at St. Mary's University in Texas and a retired Army Judge Advocate General, said the requests are part of the defense strategy to delay the trial.

"This case is such a high-profile case that you can't go to any military installation in the world where you will find a panel that has not heard about the case," Addicott said.

Osborn was appointed late last year to succeed a judge who was removed from the case by a military appeals court. One of the reasons the court cited was the fact that the former judge had been in his office at Fort Hood at the time of the shooting.

Last year, the case was delayed for several months while Army appeals courts considered whether Hasan would be allowed to continue to have a beard in the courtroom.

The appeals court that removed the previous judge from the case declined to rule on the beard question, but Osborn allowed Hasan to wear his beard during a pretrial hearing she conducted last month.

Osborn also declined to remove the death penalty from consideration, meaning Hasan will not be allowed to plead guilty, something his lawyers had indicated he was prepared to do. Guilty pleas are not allowed for capital crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Andrew Hay)

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Comments (2)
michael10sley wrote:
Three years and four months later this still hasn’t gone to trial. Its time to stop the delays and put this murdering terrorist to death for killing thirteen and injuring twenty nine others.

Feb 28, 2013 9:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
bobber1956 wrote:
Three years and four months later-strange how it coincides with obama’s reign. Should have tried an hung this traitorous murderer long ago. Change his venue to my house.

Feb 28, 2013 10:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
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