Judge Makes Rulings On Evidence In Hasan Court Martial - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Judge Makes Rulings On Evidence In Hasan Court Martial


Accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has told the court in one of his final pre-trial hearings that he is only planning to call two witnesses on his behalf in his court martial.

Judge Colonel Tara Osborn also ruled that the former Fort Hood police officer who ended the mass shooting on post will have to testify despite a medical condition that leaves him unable to speak.

Former Army Sgt. Mark Todd will have to testify using some other means of communication when he is questioned as a witness to the 2009 shooting where he shot and critically wounded Hasan in a gunfight.

Hasan objected to Todd testifying in court, saying he didn't feel it was "necessary" to put Todd through what he called "a humiliating event."

Prosecutors asked if Todd could testify via an earlier video from an Article 32 hearing.  The judge then instructed both the defense and prosecution to present more evidence that Todd is medically unable to testify, and she will then consider changing her ruling.

In addressing other pieces of evidence the government wants to use for motive, Osborn ruled that they would be allowed to use Internet searches found on Hasan's laptop before the shooting that show he was researching Jihad and the Taliban.

The government will also be allowed to use evidence showing that Hasan had sought conscientious objector status after receiving notice that he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Hasan reportedly told a doctor that if the government wanted to send him to Afghanistan then "they had another thing coming."

Osborn also laid out ground rules before the start of the court martial next week.

She told Hasan that during opening statements, he would not be allowed to testify and that he would only be acting as an attorney.  She explained to Hasan that when testimony for the defense begins, he will be able to testify "anyway he wants."

Hasan then asked Osborn about why he is not being allowed to give interviews to media outlets.

He said he believed it was against his 1st amendment rights as a U.S. citizen to be denied this access. Osborn replied that there is no gag order set in place by the court, and that it's ultimately up to the Army whether he gets to speak to the media or not.

The final pre-trial hearing has been set for next Monday at 9 A.M. where a jury panel made up of 13 army officers will be seated.

Opening statements in the court martial are scheduled to begin next Tuesday.

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