- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Judge considers delay in Fort Hood suspect’s trial
Question of the Day
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A military judge will hear arguments Tuesday on whether to delay the trial of an Army psychiatrist charged in the fatal 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.
The judge postponed Maj. Nidal Hasan's pre-trial hearing earlier this month because the defendant had grown a beard, contrary to Army regulations. The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, has said he will bar Maj. Hasan from the courtroom and force him to watch Tuesday's proceedings through closed-circuit television if he is unshaven. Col. Gross has the power to bar defendants from court for such violations.
Maj. Hasan has been clean-shaven in all other court appearances since the 2009 attack, which killed 13 people and injured more than 30 others. He is an American-born Muslim, and his attorneys have said they will seek an exception to the Army's rule based on his religious beliefs.
Col. Gross is expected to consider several motions during Tuesday's hearing, including whether to delay Maj. Hasan's trial until December. The trial was already postponed from March and then June, after defense attorneys said they needed more time to prepare. The trial is currently scheduled for Aug. 20.
Maj. Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. The trial is expected to last at least two months, and a military jury will be brought in from Fort Sill, Okla.
Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug said Monday that post officials wouldn't know until Tuesday whether Maj. Hasan had followed the judge's order about shaving his beard. Fort Hood officials also wouldn't say whether Maj. Hasan would be charged if he shows up unshaven, though one possible charge is failure to obey a lawful order or regulation, which carries a maximum two-year jail sentence.
Jeff Addicott, a former senior legal adviser to the Army's Special Forces who isn't involved in the case, said Maj. Hasan may be growing the beard with the hope of making a case that he is being persecuted for his faith.
"He's going to play the religious card," said Mr. Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University School of Law. "And this is his last card to play ... because no one believes he's not going to be found guilty."
Witnesses have said that on the morning of Nov. 5, 2009, a gunman wearing an Army combat uniform opened fire after shouting, "Allahu Akbar!" — or "God is great!" in Arabic — in a Fort Hood medical building where deploying and returning soldiers received vaccines and other tests. Several witnesses identified the gunman as Maj. Hasan, who was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan the following month.
Maj. Hasan, 41, is paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police the day of the rampage. He remains jailed.
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq