FORT HOOD, Texas (Los Angeles Times/MCT) - The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in a mass shooting on this Army base nearly four years ago declined to testify or to call witnesses in his defense Wednesday.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 42, has been representing himself at his court-martial for the past two weeks. Military legal experts had not expected Hasan to testify because he would be limited to answering questions and subject to cross-examination by prosecutors.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 of attempted premeditated murder in connection with the Nov. 5, 2009, attack.
Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday. They argued that before the shooting, Hasan, an American-born Muslim, had been trying to avoid deployment to Afghanistan and was motivated by radical religious beliefs to plot to kill soldiers, although the trial judge The military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, refused to admit much of the prosecution’s evidence regarding Hasan’s motive.
Hasan has admitted to the shooting but defended his actions, saying he attacked deploying soldiers to protect Taliban leaders overseas, an argument the judge ruled Hasan could not use as a defense.
Then the judge called the jury in.
“Maj. Hasan, you may proceed,” she said.
“Defense rests,” Hasan said.
It was over in a matter of seconds.
“You have now heard all the evidence in this case,” the judge said, and directed jurors to leave as she consulted both sides about jury instructions.