Fort Hood Shooting Suspect Will Face Death Penalty

July 6, 2011 - 11:05 AM

Fort Hood, Texas (AP) - The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood rampage will be tried in a military court and face the death penalty, the commanding general for the Texas military post announced Wednesday.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, 40, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shooting spree at the Texas Army post.

It was not immediately clear when Hasan will be arraigned in a Fort Hood courtroom and enter a plea.

Hasan's lead attorney, John Galligan, had urged the commanding general not to seek the death penalty, saying such cases were more costly, time-consuming and restrictive. In cases where death is not a punishment option, soldiers convicted of capital murder are automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

Two Army colonels who reviewed the case previously recommended that Hasan be court-martialed and face the death penalty.

Galligan has declined to say whether he is considering an insanity defense for his client.

Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police the day of the rampage. He remains in the Bell County Jail, which houses defendants for nearby Fort Hood.