Accused Fort Hood shooter heads to trial in Texas court martial
FORT HOOD, Texas (REUTERS) - The court-martial of Nidal Hasan begins on Tuesday, with the US Army major facing charges for killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the worst non-combat attack in history at a US military base.
Hasan, 42, an American-born Muslim, could be sentenced to death if convicted in the trial at the military post for the attack nearly four years ago that also left 32 people wounded.
Prosecutors are expected to lay out their case against Hasan in opening statements on Tuesday. The army psychiatrist is accused of opening fire at the base near Killeen, Texas, where soldiers were preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The military judge for the court-martial, Colonel Tara Osborn, ruled on Friday that prosecutors may present evidence that Hasan was on the Internet in the days - and even hours - before the attack, searching terms such as "Taleban" and "jihad"- which some radical Islamists define as a holy war.