Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Convicted Of Murder - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Convicted Of Murder

Sketch by Brigitte Woosley Sketch by Brigitte Woosley

Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan was found guilty on all 45 counts he was charged with relating back to the 2009 shooting massacre on post.

While the atmosphere in the courtroom stayed mostly restrained, emotions ran high as the all-military jury panel made up of 13 senior Army officers found Hasan guilty on all charges including 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for the 2009 shooting massacre that claimed the lives of 13 people and wounded dozens more. 

"It was a tense moment in there," reporter Jeremy Schwartz said. "I think we all knew what the verdict was going to be. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion in a lot of ways, but there's still something about the reading of a verdict this momentous and that has been so long coming."

Even if Hasan gets the death penalty, it's still unlikely he'll ever be executed. From 1916-1961, there were 135 military executions. Since 1961, not a single serviceman has been put to death. Mandatory death row appeals in the military justice system and it take years. A panel of three active duty military judges has to agree on the sentence, and then the president has to give the final order.

News Channel 25's legal expert, Steve Walden says Hasan's jury will get only one vote to send him to death row. 

"The instructions do allow for a discussion amongst the jury and then the jury president, the highest ranking person will call for a vote and they'll vote secretly by a written ballot and then the president will announce the results," Walden said. "If it does not lead to a unanimous verdict, then it moves to the next level."

Those in the courtroom said that once the verdict was read, family members who were present in the gallery could be seen crying and silently smiling in relief after hearing the jury's guilty findings bringing this nearly 4 year process to a close.

"Family members were very quiet," reporter Rose Thayer said. "They obviously reacted, but it was silent. You could see them wiping away tears and as they left, they walked out together in silence. You could tell they were looking at each other in relief. This is another step in closing this saga down for them it's been nearly 4 years."

Observers also said that while the verdict was being read - Hasan did not react showing virtually no emotion as he learned his fate. 

"Hasan stayed stoic and quiet as he's been throughout this court martial," Schwartz said. "He looked up at the lead juror as she read the verdict but then looked back down, stroked his beard as he's done but made no outward display."

The sentencing phase of this court martial will begin Monday at 9 A.M. where Hasan could ultimately be given the death penalty.

Hasan will again be representing himself despite Judge Col. Tara Osborn advising him not to defend himself.

It's still unclear whether Hasan will take the stand to give any kind of statement on his own behalf.

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