Thursday, 03 December 2009

Ft. Hood Shooter Charged with 32 Counts of Attempted Murder

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Nidal HasanAccused Ft. Hood murderer Major Nidal Hasan was charged Wednesday by military attorneys with 32 counts of attempted murder in connection with the victims wounded in his armed rampage on November 5. Among those injured by Hasan were the two civilian police officers who eventually fired on Hasan and brought him down, ending the massacre.

These new charges are in addition to the 13 counts of murder with which the former army psychiatrist and apparent jihadist was charged last month. On the day of the shooting spree, Hasan reportedly entered a waiting room where soldiers were tested prior to being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the statements given by witnesses, Nidal Hasan brandished two pistols, climbed on top of a table and opened fire, zeroing in on those in uniform, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” — which being interpreted from Arabic is “God is Great.”

Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan, was informed prior to the reading of the new charges that the Judge Advocate General lawyers had filed a motion with the military tribunal that will hear the case to have the judge order Hasan to undergo a mental competency examination. The purpose is to determine his capacity to stand trial as well as to ascertain with an acceptable level of medical certainty his mental state at the time of the crimes of which he is accused. The Army expects the examination will establish whether Hasan was able to form the legal mental intent requisite for charges of murder and attempted murder.

Galligan, a retired army colonel, told reporters that he would oppose the Army’s motion for a mental evaluation, citing his client’s hospitalization as the chief premise. Furthermore, Galligan complained that the Army was proceeding ignobly in piling charges on a man who is “in the hospital and defense attorneys are not present.” He further groused that he was unable to offer additional insight into the particulars of the new charges or the motion, as the Army had not returned his phone calls.

Photo of Nidal Hasan: AP Images

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