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Ft. Hood Suspect to Represent Self During Trial

  • VOA News

Undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

A military judge has ruled that a U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage can act as his own attorney.

The judge ruled that Major Nidal Hasan is mentally competent in his decision to fire his attorneys. He will question more than two dozen soldiers he is accused of wounding.

The judge plans to decide Tuesday on Hasan's request for a three-month delay in his trial so he can have time to change his defense strategy. Hasan wants to use a "defense of others" argument, under which he must prove he acted to save the lives of others.

Hasan is charged with killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 32 others during a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
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