- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
No closing argument from Fort Hood rampage suspect
FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood passed on his final chance to address jurors on Thursday, even after prosecutors insisted he carried out a planned attack and asked jurors for a verdict that would allow the death penalty.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is acting as his own attorney but declined to plead his case after prosecutors wrapped up their closing argument. When the judge told Hasan he could begin, he said: “The defense chooses not to make a closing statement.”
Hasan is facing numerous counts of premeditated murder for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Army post in central Texas. It was the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.
Prosecutors insisted there was no question that Hasan planned and carried out the attack.
“The facts I laid out to you give you only one option,” the prosecutor, Col. Steve Henricks, told jurors. “The accused without a doubt — without any doubt at all — had a premeditated design to kill.”
The Army psychiatrist told jurors during a brief opening statement nearly two weeks ago that evidence would “clearly show” he was the shooter, and he described himself as a soldier who had “switched sides.”
But since then, he has sat mostly silent. He has raised few objections during the 13-day trial, and he questioned only three of the nearly 90 witnesses called by prosecutors. He also presented only a single piece of evidence: an evaluation from his boss that called him a good soldier.
On Thursday, military prosecutors asked jurors for a unanimous conviction on the premeditated murder charges, which would allow them to seek the death penalty — the government’s priority in the case.
Henricks repeatedly emphasized the word “premeditation,” trying to dissuade the jury — 13 high-ranking military officers — of even considering a conviction on a lesser charge that would take the death penalty off the table.
“There’s no doubt the evidence you heard in this case shows he committed the offense,” Henricks said.
Henricks said Hasan asked for the highest-tech weapon available when he went to a gun store a few months before the Nov. 5, 2009, attack, and he soon began practicing at a gun range. Hasan also used laser sights, which Henricks said “established intent to kill.”
The prosecutor noted that the shootings, which started inside a medical building crowded with soldiers preparing to deploy, came the same day Hasan’s unit was at that building. Hasan was assigned to soon join the unit in Afghanistan on a six-month tour.
“Some things speak for themselves. It doesn’t require any evidence — because it’s no coincidence — that the accused did his crime on Five November,” Henricks told jurors.
Henricks also noted that Hasan targeted soldiers, leaving most civilians unscathed. After Hasan fled the medical building, and civilians outside asked him what was going on, “he tells them it’s a paintball gun. It’s a training exercise. He’s keeping his wits about him even after what happened,” Henricks said.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014