Nov. 12, 2009 — Initial Charges Filed. The initial charge filed against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan alleged 13 specifications of premeditated murder, in violation of Article 118, Uniform Code of Military Justice. These are allegations and the accused is considered innocent until and unless proven guilty. The victims in these specifications are all Soldiers, with one victim being a retired Soldier.
Nov. 20, 2009 — Commander orders Hasan into Pre-Trial Confinement. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s command ordered Hasan into pre-trial confinement in accordance with the Rules for Court-Martial. A neutral and detached military magistrate reviewed the appropriateness of the decision to place him into pre-trial confinement and determined that continued pre-trial confinement was, if fact warranted. A military accused ordered into pretrial confinement for court-martial offenses does not possess any right to post bail. Accordingly, Maj. Hasan remains in a pre-trial confinement status at this time, and he continues to receive all of the medical care that competent medical authorities have deemed necessary.
Dec. 2, 2009 — Attempted Premeditated Murder Charges Filed. In December, an additional charge was filed against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan for 32 specifications of attempted premeditated murder in violation of Article 80, Uniform Code of Military Justice. As with the initial charge, these are allegations only and the accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The victims in these specifications include 30 Soldiers and two civilians (two Fort Hood police officers).
Feb. 12, 2010 — Investigative Officer Grants Hearing Delay. Col. James Pohl, the investigating officer appointed to the Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan Article 32 proceedings, granted a defense request to delay the hearing start date. The Article 32 hearing, originally scheduled to begin March 1, was delayed until June 1.
Feb. 23, 2010 — Hasan’s defense team meets with special court-martial convening authority. Colonel Morgan Lamb, the special court-martial convening authority met with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s defense team Feb. 23., providing the defense team an opportunity to present any matters for Lamb’s consideration before Lamb takes action as a convening authority under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
April 9, 2010 — Maj. Hasan’s moved to Bell County Jail. Maj. Hasan was released from Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, and transported to the Bell County, Texas, Jail April 9.
June 1, 2010 — Opening Session for Article 32 Hearing. The opening session of the pre-trial investigation, Article 32 hearing, in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was held June 1.The opening session addressed preliminary matters. No witness testimony was heard during this opening session. During the session, the investigating officer granted the defense request to delay the Article 32 hearing to Oct. 4 with a possible administrative hearing eventually set for Sept. 16.
June 25, 2010 — Hearing adjusted to reconvene with witness testimony. The investigating officer adjusted when the pretrial investigation would reconvene from Oct. 4 to Oct. 12 for witness testimony. The reason for the one-week delay was to ensure witness travel and other funding is not affected by the beginning of the federal government’s new fiscal year on Oct. 1.The taking of witness testimony in the Article 32 Hearing is expected to last multiple weeks.
Aug. 12, 2010 — Evidentiary hearing date determined not necessary. The investigating officer for the Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan Article 32 hearing determined today that an August evidentiary hearing date will not be necessary. The pretrial investigation is scheduled to reconvene Oct. 12.
Sept. 16, 2010 — Pre-trial investigation Article 32 hearing reconvened. The session was called a Status Conference Hearing and address additional preliminary matters. No witness testimony was heard during this session. The government held a status conference hearing to address additional preliminary matters for the pre-trial investigation, Article 32 Hearing, in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. During the two-hour session, three motions were made by the defense to the investigating officer Col. James Pohl:
1. Motion to exclude autopsy evidence was denied.
2. Motion to close hearing to media and the public was denied.
3. Motion to delay hearing to develop mitigation evidence will be addressed at a later date.
4. Pohl ruled on this motion Oct. 4 allowing a one-week delay from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7.
Oct. 12, 2010 — Pre-trial investigation Article 32 hearing reconvened Oct. 12-29, Nov. 8-18. The scheduled sessions heard both prosecution and defense witness testimony. Prosecutors concluded their portion after eight days of testimony from 56 prosecution witnesses. Prosecutors were able to complete their portion, originally scheduled for completion Oct. 29, more than a week early because the pace of the proceeding was faster than anticipated. Lt. Col. Kris R. Poppe, military defense attorney, declined to present any evidence. Prosecution declined to provide any other evidence. Neither side offered a closing statement. Colonel Pohl concluded the Article 32 hearing at 9:06 a.m.
Nov. 16, 2010 — Article 32 investigating officer completes his recommendations for Hasan case. Col. James L. Pohl the Article 32 investigating officer completed his recommendation on findings of the Article 32 hearing for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
Jan. 25, 2011 — Delay Granted to Defense in Hasan Case. The charges pending against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan remain with Col. Morgan Lamb, the special court martial convening authority, for his disposition decision or recommendation. At the request of Hasan’s defense counsels, Colonel Lamb granted a delay in the case until Feb. 23, 2011, when defense will meet with Colonel Lamb and present any matters they wish the colonel to consider. After that meeting, Colonel Lamb will decide what action to take or recommendation to make as a convening authority in the case.
March 4, 2011 — Hasan’s Special Court Martial Convening Authority delivered recommendation to III Corps. Prosecutors provided to defense counsel Col. Morgan Lamb’s recommendation for disposition concerning the charges pending against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Defense counsel publicly released those recommendations. Colonel Lamb recommended that the charges pending against Hasan be sent to a general court-marital authorized to consider capital punishment. Lamb’s recommendation was non-binding, and the eventual decision concerning the disposition of charges against Hasan will take into account all appropriate factors while observing both the rights of the accused and the victims of the alleged crimes.
May 19, 2011 — Hasan’s defense holds meeting with general court-martial convening authority. At the request of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s defense counsel, a meeting between the defense and Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, III Corps and Fort Hood commander, was held May 19.Campbell approved the meeting to ensure defense counsel had the opportunity to present all matters for consideration to him. Campbell serves as the general court-martial convening authority. The charges pending against Hasan have been forwarded to the general for disposition. Campbell’s decision will be made sometime after his meeting with Hasan’s defense counsel. No deadline has been set for Campbell’s decision.
July 6, 2011 — Hasan is referred to general court-martial. Lieutenant General Donald M. Campbell, Jr., made his disposition decision in United States v. Major Nidal M. Hasan. Campbell is the commander of III Corps and Fort Hood and in that capacity serves as a general court-martial convening authority. After considering all matters submitted by defense counsel and considering other appropriate matters, including the recommendations of Hasan’s chain of command, the Article 32 Investigating Officer, and his own legal advisor, Campbell has referred the case to a general court-martial for trial. The court-martial is authorized to consider death as an authorized punishment.
July 20, 2011 — Fort Hood’s Chief Circuit Judge holds arraignment for Hasan. The arraignment for the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was held at 2:30 p.m. July 20, 2011, in the Fort Hood courtroom. At the arraignment, Col. Gregory Gross, Fort Hood’s chief circuit judge, discussed the rights held by the accused, such as his right to counsel. Colonel Gross made an inquiry on the record regarding detailed military counsel and civilian counsel. Hasan indicated he is satisfied with detailed counsel and desires no specific military counsel. He has released his civilian counsel, Mr. J.P. Galligan. The judge explained Hasan’s right to be tried before an officer panel, and Hasan elected the same. Gross explained that prosecution must prove a capitol count, an aggravating factor, and that the aggravating factor must outweigh mitigating factors. Each must be decided by a unanimous vote by the court martial panel. Hasan, by counsel, waived reading of the charges and deferred entering a plea and further motions. Colonel Gross will issue an order setting deadlines for motions from both sides. The judge explained that the defense requested delay until March 5, 2012, is granted and that case will be docketed for that day.
Oct. 27, 2011 — Military judge hears pre-trial motions for Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, clarified some administrative matters and then heard arguments from both sides regarding pending motions. The administrative matters involved an order to produce documents, a trial schedule and the judge’s answers to questions posed by Hasan’s defense counsel regarding the judge’s ability to preside over the case. Gross issued an order to Yahoo! to produce documents that had been requested by the prosecution. The defense did not object to the order. Gross also discussed the trial schedule he is developing, and it will be published once developed. Gross clarified his answers to the defense counsel’s questions, which pertain to the personal impact of the shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, on his self or his family members. The defense counsel will review the Gross’ answers before deciding whether to challenge him for cause as being unable to fairly preside over the case. The motions presented by Hasan’s defense counsel were requests for expert assistance prior to the trial. The defense team requested that the Fort Hood General Court Martial Convening Authority provide funding to hire a media consultant expert and a panel (jury) selection expert. Hasan’s defense counsel assert that the experts are necessary to determine the impact extensive media coverage and other factors affecting the military community will have on unfairly influencing the opinions of potential panel members, and then to properly identify and excuse those panel members that cannot be fair and unbiased. The prosecutors argued that such experts are unnecessary additions to the defense team, as the attorneys should be able to provide the same assistance themselves. Gross deferred ruling on the motions, and he has not indicated when such a ruling may be made. The next hearing is scheduled to take place during the week of Nov. 28 with the trial scheduled to begin on March 5, 2012.
Nov. 30, 2011 — Hasan Nov. 30 hearing statement. In the case of U.S. vs Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the judge, Col. Gregory Gross, listened to arguments from the defense attorneys and prosecutors regarding several motions pending before the court. At a previous hearing on Oct. 27, Gross had answered questions from the defense attorneys pertaining to his personal impact of the shooting at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. Today the defense attorneys asked more questions and requested Gross to recuse himself from the trial because of the appearance of bias as a judge. Although Gross was present at Fort Hood the day of the shooting, he says he had no specific knowledge of the events as they transpired and that he has distanced himself from any news or discussion of the incident. Gross denied the defense motion to recues himself, and he remains as the judge in the case. The defense attorneys then argued two separate motions regarding Articles I and III of the U.S. Constitution, alleging that Hasan’s fundamental right to life will be violated if he is prosecuted and sentenced to death in a military court-martial. This case is being prosecuted as a capital case, meaning the death penalty is a possible sentence if Hasan is found guilty, and under the Constitution certain procedures must be followed to ensure his rights are protected. The military court-martial process is separate and distinct from any civilian court in the U.S. and procedures are created by Congress and the President in a different manner. The defense argued that these differences deny military defendants the same protection as civilian defendants and therefore violate the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution. Therefore, the defense has requested that this case not be tried as a capital case. Gross did not rule on the two motions about Hasan’s Constitutional rights. He also has not yet ruled on the two motions argued at the last hearing pertaining to expert assistance for the defense team. He has not indicated when a ruling may be made, and the next hearing is not yet scheduled.
Feb. 2, 2012 — Hasan Article 39A Hearing statement. Colonel Gregory Gross, the judge for the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, re-set the trial date to June, 12, 2012. Previously scheduled to begin on March 5, 2012, the defense attorneys requested a delay so that they can better prepare for the trial. The judge agreed that one of the defense experts, a specialist in mitigation evidence, needs more time to complete his review of Hasan’s background. The judge also agreed that the defense team needs more time to sift through the volumes of documents related to this case. The judge considered other motions and requests from both the defense and prosecution teams in today’s hearing. The judge ruled on motions presented by the defense attorneys last October, where they requested expert assistance on the effect of pre-trial publicity and for help in selecting panel (jury) members. The judge denied the pre-trial publicity expert, but granted the panel selection expert. This expert will assist the defense attorneys in questioning the panel members before the court-martial to determine which members should be excused from sitting on the panel. The defense also filed a motion to compel the prosecution to provide them with notes from meetings and conversations between the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other high-ranking officials in the aftermath of the shooting on Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. The defense attorneys have requested the notes so they can determine if any matter was discussed which may have unlawfully influenced the independent discretion of Hasan’s chain of command to prosecute him. The prosecution opposed the motion, saying that the Army officers who have taken action in this prosecution were under no influence from higher officials to do so. The judge reserved ruling on this matter until a later date. Another motion considered was the prosecution team’s request that investigation reports prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense regarding Hasan’s military career be protected from further dissemination by the defense attorneys. The defense attorneys oppose such a protective order and requested that the judge allow them time to prepare a response to the prosecution’s motion. Once the judge receives the response, he will hear arguments from both sides before ruling on the motion. The judge commented on a matter that had been discussed at the last hearing in November. The defense attorneys have requested they be allowed to talk privately with the Commanding General of Fort Hood and the Staff Judge Advocate who gives legal advice to the Commanding General, to inquire into their qualifications to proceed with this case as a capital murder trial. The prosecution asserts that such private access is unnecessary, and asked the judge for more time to prepare a response to the defense request. The judge granted them more time, and he will not rule on this matter until he considers the prosecution’s response. The judge will prepare a docketing order based on the new trial date, and he may allow both sides to conduct hearings or conferences with him on a weekly basis as the trial date grows near. He will allow both sides to submit questions to the pool of potential panel members before they are selected for this trial. Hasan is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
April 4, 2012 — Hasan Article 39A Hearing statement. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, clarified some administrative matters and then heard arguments from both sides regarding pending motions. The administrative matters included the appointment of Maj. Joseph Marcee for the defense replacing Capt. Justin Oshana who was released from duty earlier this year. In a newer request, the defense counsel requested a continuance until October, which will be litigated at a 10 a.m. April 10 Article 39a hearing. The judge granted the defense request for the appointment of an expert in forensic pathology. He denied defense requests to set aside the capital referral. He issued a protective order for Department of Defense and Army material and denied a defense request to modify the protective order. He denied a government request to pre-admit numerous pieces of evidence. He ordered the production of three witnesses for a defense motion to appoint a victim outreach specialist. Those witnesses are scheduled to be produced and the motion will be litigated on April 10.The judge denied a defense motion to interview the convening authority and the staff judge advocate.
April 10, 2012 — Military judge rules on April 10 pre-trial motions in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, heard arguments from both sides regarding pending motions April 10 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. The first motion was the defense’s request to appoint a victim outreach specialist. A Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach specialist was requested by the defense and would be appointed by the court to reach out to victim-survivors of capital crimes and act as the link between the victim-survivor and the defense team. After hearing from witnesses and argument from both sides, Gross denied the defense motion. In the second motion, the defense counsel requested a continuance until October 9, 2012.Defense counsel argued that the delay is necessary because of the large volume of documents and other evidence already delivered to the defense and the anticipated continued disclosure of additional documents and evidence by the prosecution. Government counsel argued that the defense has had ample time to review the evidence and requested that the defense counsel file any further motions as soon as possible. Gross did not make a decision on whether to grant the motion for a continuance. He indicated that he will schedule another hearing in the near future at which time he will issue his decision. Gross also denied a defense motion for the production of discovery containing communications between the President of the United States and other parties. This motion had been filed and litigated at an earlier hearing.
April 18, 2012— Military judge sets new trial date for Hasan case. Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross announced his ruling on the defense continuance request in United States vs. Major Nidal M. Hasan April 17.He partially granted the defense request for a delay to a new trial date of Aug. 20.Defense counsel had sought to delay to commencement of trial from June 12 until Oct. 9. Prosecutors opposed any further delay in the trial date. On Aug. 20, the parties will begin to seat the jury, which is called a panel in the military. Gross will also likely hold other pretrial hearings between now and Aug. 20 and those will be announced as scheduled.
June 6, 2012 – Military judge schedules next pre-trial hearing for Hasan case. The military judge in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan has scheduled a half-day administrative hearing at 10 a.m. June 8 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. Both the prosecution and defense will go on the record in open court to litigate pending motions and discuss administrative matters. Pending motions before the court include the resolution of discovery matters and whether the accused should receive at government expense the expert services of a neurologist. Other matters may also be filed for litigation at the hearing.
June 8, 2012 – Military judge delays pre-trial motions in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross delayed pre-trial motions in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. The military judge stated on the record that the accused appeared in court with a beard in violation of Army Regulation 670-1 and Rules for Court-Martial 804(e)(1), specifically paragraph 1-8(c). The military judge stated that the appearance of the accused was a disruption to the court proceedings. As a result, the military judge delayed pre-trial motions until the near future, when either a closed circuit feed can be set up for the accused to watch the hearings from outside the court room or the accused complies with court order to appear with proper military grooming standards. Defense indicated their intent to file a request for exception to policy for religious accommodation to a higher command. The motions scheduled for today, to include a new request for a further continuance, resolution of discovery matters and whether the accused should receive at government expense the expert services of a neurologist were delayed until the next Article 39a hearing.
June 19, 2012 – Military judge considers pre-trial motions in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, listened to argument on several pre-trial motions in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. The military judge stated on the record that the accused again appeared in court with a beard, and continues to be in violation of Army Regulation 670-1 and Rules for Court-Martial 804(e) (1). The military judge stated that the appearance of the accused continues to disrupt the court proceedings and that the accused will view court proceedings via a closed-circuit feed in a trailer adjacent to the courthouse. The judge further stated, unless the accused conforms to Army regulations or is granted an exception to policy for religious accommodation by the Department of the Army, he will continue to view the proceedings via closed-circuit feed. The defense indicated that they would seek a writ of prohibition and a stay of the proceedings from the Army Court of Criminal Appeals based on the judge’s ruling that excludes Hasan from the courtroom. Other motions argued and considered by the judge include a request for a further continuance, resolution of discovery issues, whether the accused should receive at government expense the expert services of a neurologist, a request to compel production of documents used in selecting the jury, and a request to allow the defense to interview the III Corps Commanding General and his Staff Judge Advocate. The judge granted the defense motion to provide an expert neurologist to the defense team. The judge is expected to rule on other motions argued at today’s hearing at the next Article 39a hearing currently scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 29.
In other events, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, lead defense attorney for Hasan released the following statement on Hasan’s behalf following today’s court proceedings: On July 28, 2011, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sent a letter to John Galligan in which he stated, “Please be clear, as of July 20, 2011, at 2:30 p.m. you were no longer my attorney and do not represent me in any capacity.” According to Poppe, that decision has not changed. Since July 20, 2011, any comments made by Galligan about this case are for his own purposes and not on behalf of Hasan.
June 29, 2012 – Military judge denies continuance request and rules on other pending motions in the Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, denied the defense request for a further continuance of trial until December 2012 and ordered that the trial will begin on Aug. 20, 2012, in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. The military judge also submitted to questioning from defense counsel concerning whether he was biased against the accused, and then ruled that he was neither actually biased and that no implied bias existed. After announcement of that ruling, defense counsel stated their intention to appeal the military judge’s failure to recues himself to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. In one further matter, the military judge ruled that III Corps and Fort Hood’s Commanding General and his Staff Judge Advocate must make themselves available for a joint interview by defense counsel concerning the referral of this case. The accused was not present in court today and continued to view court proceedings via a closed-circuit feed in a trailer adjacent to the courthouse. The military judge announced that the accused was still not clean shaven as required by Army Regulations, that the Department of the Army had declined to grant the accused a religious accommodation for the wearing of the beard, and that the Army Court of Criminal Appeals refused to hear the accused’s appeal of the judge’s decision to remove him from the courtroom because of the beard. The judge is expected to rule on other pending motions and take up any new motions at the next Article 39a hearing currently scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 6th.
July 6, 2012 – Military judge denies and grants pending motions in the Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, ruled on several matters in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here, including pending discovery motions brought by defense. The judge partially granted a defense motion seeking background material on the selection of potential panel members and granted defense access to a previously conducted legal review. The judge, however, denied defense motions seeking to interview a member of the Department of the Army’s Public Affairs Office concerning Vocus (commercially-produced software used to analyze press reports) and also denied defense access to government expert Evan Kohlmann’s personal library. The accused was not present in court today and continued to view court proceedings via a closed-circuit feed in a location adjacent to the courtroom. At the next Article 39a hearing, currently scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 12, the judge is expected to rule on other pending motions and will hear argument over a proposed written questionnaire for potential panel members to answer before reporting for panel duty. The judge will also take up any new matters raised by the parties.
July 12, 2012 – Military judge rules on Panel Questionnaire in the Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, held a hearing today to discuss a proposed written pretrial panel member questionnaire. After discussing several proposed written questions with defense counsel and the prosecution, the judge announced what questions would be and could not be included on the questionnaire. The questionnaire will likely be sent to potential panel members this week, and the judge set a July 20 deadline for the questionnaire’s return. Additionally, the judge noted that the Army Court of Criminal Appeals had refused to hear a defense appeal of the judge’s ruling not to recues himself from the case. The judge also discussed, but did not yet rule on, his review of material from the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concerning whether the reviewed material was relevant to the proceedings. The accused was not present in court today and continued to view court proceedings via a closed-circuit feed adjacent to the courthouse.
July 25, 2012 – Military judge holds contempt hearing, rules on other pending matters in Hasan case. In an Article 39A hearing July 25 in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross began the morning with a contempt hearing for Hasan’s failure to comply with Army grooming standards and appear in court clean shaven. Gross found the accused in contempt and fined him $1,000, the maximum amount the court could impose as a fine under the court-martial contempt statute. After conducting the contempt hearing, the accused refused to voluntarily shave and watched the remainder of the hearing outside the courtroom via a close-circuit television feed. The military judge further informed the accused that if he did not voluntarily shave, Gross would likely compel a shaving sometime in the future so the accused could personally attend forthcoming court-martial hearings. The remainder of today’s hearing focused on discovery and expert matters. Gross stated he would review for relevancy an unredacted copy of the recently released William Webster report to the FBI’s director. Gross also requested an update on whether the Senate maintained any notes or summary of interviews the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs may have taken or made in support of the their report on the Fort Hood shooting. The judge also deferred ruling on whether the defense should have access to military investigations taught in a class at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. The judge took under advisement and deferred ruling on defense requested experts in religious conversion and social science methodology. The judge did authorize further government funding for already appointed defense experts in jury selection and mitigation. Finally, the judge also found that federal district courts have exclusive jurisdiction over matters raised under 50 United States Code Section 1806, and stated he would sign an order transferring any such matter to the federal district court in Waco.
Aug 3, 2012 – Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross held a hearing Aug. 3 here where he announced the following rulings on defense motions to compel the production of documents and requests for experts. Gross denied production to the defense of various unredacted and withheld FBI documents, an unredacted report from William Webster given to the director of the FBI and a report compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Gross also denied production to the defense regarding investigations done into and stemming from classes taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. Gross also noted that the U.S. Senate would make certain documents available for inspection to both the defense and prosecution concerning a Senate Committee Report on the Fort Hood Shootings. Additionally, Gross provided two experts to the defense at government expense: Dr. James Richardson, an expert on social science methodology, and Dr. Lewis Rambo, an expert on religious conversion. Just before the Article 39a hearing, Gross held Hasan in contempt of court for refusing to shave and imposed a $1,000 fine. The judge set the next hearing for 10 a.m. Aug. 9. The judge announced that the parties would litigate at that hearing if government expert Evan Kohlmann will be allowed to testify in the upcoming Aug. 20 general court martial as an expert witness. The defense noted they planned on calling Richardson to challenge Kohlmann’s methodologies when reviewing evidence in this case. Although the judge made no final decision, he may take telephonic testimony from both Kohlmann and Richardson during the Aug. 9 hearing.
Aug. 7, 2012 – Military judge schedules next pre-trial hearing for Hasan case. The military judge in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan has scheduled a half-day administrative hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 9 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. Both the prosecution and defense will go on the record in open court to litigate pending motions and discuss expert witnesses. Media who plan to cover the hearing must register here. On the date for the event, satellite trucks should report to the Fort Hood Clarke Road Gate on West Highway 190 at 6:30 a.m. Truck registration ends at 7 a.m. All others should check in to the Fort Hood visitor’s center, from 8-9 a.m. for final registration. All media should be prepared to show a U.S. driver’s license with photo and an accredited press badge with photo.
Aug. 9, 2012 – Military Judged heard evidence and ruled on several other motions in Article 39A hearing for Hasan case. Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan began today’s hearing with another contempt proceeding as he has done in the previous two hearings. Hasan appeared again in court today with a beard, and after hearing argument from Hasan’s counsel, the judge held Hasan in contempt for his failure to be clean shaven and fined him $1,000. The majority of today’s hearing concerned whether one of the government’s experts could testify at trial. After admitting several pieces of documentary evidence and hearing extensive testimony from the expert, Mr. Evan Kohlmann, and from a defense expert, Dr. James Richardson, Gross indicated he would issue a decision at a later time. Gross heard other evidence and announced the following rulings on defense motions to compel the production of documents and requests for experts. Gross granted in part a defense motion concerning the panel selection process. He ruled that government and defense attorneys would alternate which side will go first when questioning individual prospective panel members. Gross also granted a defense motion regarding the presentation of an opening statement prior to any sentencing proceeding that may occur. Generally, government and defense counsel do not present opening statements at a sentencing proceeding. In this case, however, Gross ruled that each side could present an opening statement if the case goes to a sentencing proceeding. Gross also denied a defense request to compel the production of an expert in media analysis so that this expert could testify at a motion for change of venue. Gross also denied a defense request to change the panel members selected to hear the case, and denied a defense motion to change the venue of the trial. Gross reserved ruling on a renewed request for a delay in the start date for this trial. Gross set the next hearing for 10 a.m. Aug. 14. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Aug. 13, 2012 – Military judge schedules next pre-trial hearing for Hasan case. The military judge in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan has scheduled a half-day administrative pre-trial hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. Both the prosecution and defense will go on the record in open court to litigate pending motions and discuss various issues including any pending discovery issues and other matters either side may raise to the judge for resolution.
Aug. 14, 2012 – Military Judge heard evidence and ruled on several other motions in Article 39A hearing for Hasan case. Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan began the Aug. 14 hearing with another contempt proceeding as he has done in the previous three hearings. Hasan appeared again in court with a beard, and after hearing argument from Hasan’s counsel, the judge held Hasan in contempt for his failure to be clean shaven and fined him $1,000. Gross also heard and ruled on several motions. He denied a defense motion to exclude the testimony of one of the government’s experts, Evan Kohlmann. He also denied a defense request for a delay in the court martial until Oct. 9. He denied a defense motion to have the government produce daily transcripts of the proceedings during the jury selection process and denied a defense request for a special instruction regarding note taking by panel members during the court martial. He heard argument but reserved ruling on defense motions regarding the conduct of jury selection and a motion regarding prosecutorial misconduct. At the end of the Aug. 14 hearing, Gross announced the parties, including the accused, would be back in court twice more this week. Court will reconvene at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 and again at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 to litigate remaining issues and for the accused to enter his pleas to the charged offenses. The accused is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty in a court of law.
Aug. 15, 2012 – Appellate court orders Hasan court martial stayed until further notice. Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan began Aug. 15 with the accused appearing unshaven in court. Gross again held a contempt hearing and fined the accused $1,000. Gross next considered briefings from both parties and ruled that Article 45(b) of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice is neither unconstitutional nor infringes upon Hasan’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Article 45(b) prohibits a military judge from receiving a guilty plea from an accused to any offense for which the accused could be sentenced to death. Additionally, Gross denied a defense motion that the general court martial convening authority, Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, Jr., and his Staff Judge Advocate, Col. Stuart Risch, should be disqualified from their roles in this case. Gross had next scheduled for Hasan to enter pleas to the charged offenses of thirteen allegations of premeditated murder and thirty-two allegations of attempted premeditated murder. Before that occurred, however, the parties and the court received an order from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The CAAF ordered the proceedings stayed until further order by that court so the appellate court could consider if Gross can order the accused forcibly shaved. The CAAF is the highest level appellate court in the military, is made up of five civilian judges, and oversees military justice for all armed forces.
Aug. 17, 2012 – Hasan court martial stayed until further notice. Hasan court martial stayed until further notice. The Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces stayed all proceedings in the Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court-martial to resolve whether Hasan can be compelled to be clean shaven for court proceedings. An unshorn beard violates Army regulations. Colonel Gregory Gross, the court martial judge, has previously held Hasan’s beard disrupts the court’s proceedings and ruled Hasan in contempt of court on five different occasions. At the time of the stay, the court had scheduled for Hasan to enter pleas. The prosecutors and defense also were to litigate remaining issues before they were to start panel selection Aug. 20. Whenever the CAAF lifts the stay, Gross will reschedule these matters. The CAAF had previously rejected a defense appeal that Gross should have disqualified himself because of an alleged bias against Hasan. In other matters, the federal district court in Waco, Texas, ruled this week that no evidence will be suppressed in the Hasan court-martial pursuant to 50 United States Code Section 1806. This federal statute deals with classified evidence collection measures. Defense counsel for Hasan has also appealed Gross’s denial of their request for a further continuance until Oct. 9 to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. That court has yet to rule on the appeal. Hasan court martial stayed until further notice. The Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces stayed all proceedings in the Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court-martial to resolve whether Hasan can be compelled to be clean shaven for court proceedings. An unshorn beard violates Army regulations. Colonel Gregory Gross, the court martial judge, has previously held Hasan’s beard disrupts the court’s proceedings and ruled Hasan in contempt of court on five different occasions. At the time of the stay, the court had scheduled for Hasan to enter pleas. The prosecutors and defense also were to litigate remaining issues before they were to start panel selection Aug. 20. Whenever the CAAF lifts the stay, Gross will reschedule these matters. The CAAF had previously rejected a defense appeal that Gross should have disqualified himself because of an alleged bias against Hasan. In other matters, the federal district court in Waco, Texas, ruled this week that no evidence will be suppressed in the Hasan court-martial pursuant to 50 United States Code Section 1806. This federal statute deals with classified evidence collection measures. Defense counsel for Hasan has also appealed Gross’s denial of their request for a further continuance until Oct. 9 to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. That court has yet to rule on the appeal.
Aug. 30, 2012 – Judge holds Hasan in contempt again, rules on several motions, sets A39a hearing for Thursday. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was back in court Aug. 30 where his defense counsel and government prosecutors argued various matters to Col. Gregory Gross, court-martial judge. The proceeding began with the judge holding a contempt hearing for Hasan appearing at the court-martial wearing a beard. Hasan spoke in his own defense before Gross. The judge found Hasan in contempt of court for refusing to shave, fining him $1,000 the maximum fine allowed for contempt. After the contempt hearing an Article 39a (pre-trial) hearing was held. Defense argued to limit victim impact and other types of sentencing evidence in the case and to change the rules over how the court-martial will consider such evidence. Prosecutors argued that defense was trying to shield Hasan from his own alleged misconduct. Gross deferred ruling on these matters. Defense also argued to Gross that it was premature for him to decide what exhibits the government could use in its opening statement and what evidence the government could use to prove premeditation. Gross agreed, and put these matters on hold until further notice. Gross also set another Article 39a hearing 10 a.m. Sept. 6 for the parties to present evidence and argument concerning Hasan’s claim that he should be allowed, as a matter of religious freedom, to wear a beard while in uniform at his court-martial.
Sept. 5, 2012 – Judge sets hearing in Hasan court-martial. The trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, in U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan has set the next pretrial hearing in the case for 10 a.m. Sept. 6 at the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. Pending matters before the court include a hearing to determine whether a federal religious freedom law allows Hasan to wear a beard during his trial. Should Gross order that Hasan be forcibly shaved, the defense will have an opportunity to appeal that decision to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals before Hasan will enter his pleas. Should Gross allow Hasan to keep his beard, Hasan will enter his pleas and the trial would begin shortly thereafter.
Sept. 6, 2012 – Military Judge orders Hasan to shave or be forcibly shaved. The trial judge, Col. Gregory Gross, in U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan ordered Hasan, the accused, to shave his beard before proceeding with further hearings or trial Sept. 6 here. Gross heard arguments by the defense and prosecution on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and whether the federal act supports the accused right to keep his beard. Gross determined that RFRA does apply to court martial proceedings but ultimately ruled that the defense failed to meet their burden to prove that the beard should be allowed. The defense argued that forcing Hasan to shave would leave him in a “perilous religious state.” They argued that Hasan has sincere and genuine religious motives for growing a beard, which were further strengthened this year. The government argued that Hasan is attempting to thwart in court identification by witnesses and is using the beard to manifest an outward desire to associate himself with the Mujahedeen, a radical Islamic movement. A stay was not placed on the case but the defense is expected to appeal the decision with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA), an intermediate appellate court. This will prevent the parties from actually appearing in court until a final appellate decision is rendered. In the meantime, both parties can continue to do business with the trial court, but are not expected to appear again in court until the RFRA issue is fully resolved. Gross also ruled on a defense motion seeking to disqualify a prosecutor. Gross found that no prosecutorial misconduct had occurred therefore no disqualification was required. No further hearings are set for the moment.
Oct. 3, 2012 – Appellate court sets oral argument in Hasan appeal. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals set oral argument for the various appeals filed by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan over his refusal to appear clean shaven while in uniform at his court martial for 1 p.m. Oct. 11. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals is located at Fort Belvoir, Va., just outside the nation’s capital.
Oct. 11, 2012 – Army appellate court hears argument in Hasan appeal. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals heard arguments Oct. 11 over whether Maj. Nidal M. Hasan can wear a beard at his upcoming court martial. Seven appellate judges from the ACCA, all high-ranking military officers, listened to oral arguments for more than an hour. The primary issue before the court is whether a federal law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows Hasan to wear a beard while in uniform at his court martial for 13 premeditated murders and 32 attempted premeditated murders. The trial judge of the court martial, Col. Gregory Gross, previously ruled that Hasan failed to prove his beard is an expression of a sincerely held religious belief. Because of that finding, Gross ruled that the RFRA does not provide Hasan any protection and that Hasan must shave his beard. That ruling resulted in the appeal to the ACCA. In addition to the RFRA issue, the appellate court also listened to the parties argue over what powers a military trial judge has over a court martial and if Gross’s orders in this case showed a bias against Hasan. The ACCA has not stated when they will issue a ruling on this appeal. Any ruling from the ACCA may also be reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The ACCA sits at Fort Belvoir, Va., just outside the nation’s capital. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Dec. 3, 2012 – Military judge removed from Hasan court martial. In an opinion dated Dec. 3, the highest military appellate court ordered the removal of Col. Gregory Gross, trial judge in the Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court martial, here for the appearance of bias. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which sits in Washington, D.C., said in its 10-page opinion that because of a variety of factors, a reasonable person “would harbor doubts about the military judge’s impartiality.”The court did not say that the trial judge was actually biased, but instead ordered the removal for the appearance of bias. The court also set aside the six previous contempt convictions against Hasan. The CAAF did not issue any ruling concerning whether Hasan has a right to wear his beard under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court reasoned that given their order to remove the trial judge, “We need not and do not decide if and how RFRA might apply to Appellant’s
Dec. 4, 2012 – New Trial Judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces appointed Col. Tara Osborn as the new trial judge in the Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court martial.
Dec. 18, 2012 – New military judge holds pre-trial hearing for Hasan case. The new military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, in the United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court martial, held a one-hour pre-trial hearing to update her on the current status of the case at 10 a.m. Dec. 18. Both prosecutors and defense counsel discussed matters previously litigated in earlier court hearings, which the court may now choose to relook or that may require future litigation. Osborn asked both parties to submit a proposed schedule by Dec. 28 to litigate these matters beginning in January 2013. Osborn will inform the parties of the next hearing sometime before the end of the year. Osborn also briefly discussed Hasan’s beard at the hearing, asking Hasan if he wore the beard of his own free will and if he agreed to waive issues surrounding the beard and panel selection. Hasan answered both questions in the affirmative. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Jan. 30, 2013 – In a nearly five-hour hearing, the trial judge in the case of the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, ruled from the bench on several defense motions to reconsider previous rulings and set the next pretrial hearing date in the court-martial for Feb. 27. Military Judge Col. Tara Osborn heard arguments from defense counsel and prosecutors concerning if Hasan should receive at government expense a media analysis expert and an expert to interact with crime victims. Osborn upheld the previous decisions and ruled against the defense on employing both experts at government expense. Osborn also upheld the constitutionality of how the military decides whether a case should be tried as capital, after defense challenged the procedures set forth in Uniform Code of Military Justice. Additionally, the parties addressed whether Osborn should modify or lift protective orders issued on Department of Defense and Department of the Army investigations into the Fort Hood Shooting. Osborn said she would issue her decision on this matter in the near future. Osborn said the next hearing date will begin Feb. 27 and last up to three days should that amount of time be necessary. Issues to be litigated at the February hearing include: a) Whether a change of venue is appropriate, b) whether the convening authority must select new panel members, and c) under what circumstances prosecutors may present aggravating circumstances during presentencing proceedings. Osborn will also reconsider of the admissibility of Evan Kohlmann’s expert testimony. A hearing was first held on this issue in August 2012. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Feb. 25, 2013 – Military judge schedules next pre-trial hearing for Hasan case. The presiding military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, will hold a pretrial hearing in the United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan court martial at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here. Motions expected for argument include a defense request to change venue, a defense request to change venire (venire are the individuals that make up the potential panel members) and several defense requests concerning the procedural rules that apply during sentencing proceedings. A hearing concerning the defense request to reconsider the admissibility of Evan Kohlmann’s expert testimony will take place 10 a.m. March 20 in the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center here.
Feb. 28, 2013 – Military judge sets trial date for Hasan case. Col. Tara Osborn, the presiding judge in United States vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, held a half-day pretrial hearing Feb. 28 here. Osborn ruled from the bench that the military’s capital sentencing procedures comply with all constitutional requirements and declined a defense request to put in place special sentencing procedures. Osborn also took evidence and heard arguments on defense motions to move the trial from Fort Hood and to disqualify all Army officers from sitting on a military panel in this case because of exposure to pretrial publicity. A panel is the military’s version of a jury. Osborn reserved rulings on these matters and stated she would announce her rulings in due course. At the conclusion of the hearing, Osborn informed the parties that she would like to start the seating of a panel on May 29 and for the trial on the merits to begin July 1. The next scheduled pretrial hearing is 10 a.m. March 20 here. The defense will again challenge to what extent Evan Kohlmann can testify as an expert witness. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
March 20, 2013 – Hasan trial to stay at Fort Hood. Col. Tara Osborn, the presiding judge in United States vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, held a pretrial hearing March 20 here. Osborn announced several pending rulings. Osborn, denied defense requests to move the court martial away from Fort Hood and to order a change of potential panel members. She then heard evidentiary arguments to determine whether Mr. Evan Kohlmann will be allowed to testify as an expert witness in the case. Osborn stated she will announce at later date to what extent Kohlmann will be allowed to testify in the Hasan court martial. Osborn also denied a defense request to send a supplemental questionnaire to panel members and ruled that under the facts of this case, Article 45(b) of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice prohibits the court from accepting a guilty plea. Osborn set the next hearing in the case for April 16. The accused, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
April 16, 2013 — Judge Osborn rules on pre-trial motions in MAJ Hasan case. Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn ruled on a number of pretrial motions relating to admissibility of evidence, production of witnesses, and other preliminary trial matters April 16. She also set the next pre-trial hearing in the case for 10 a.m. May 9. Osborn ruled to grant in part and deny in part the defense’s request to limit testimony by radical extremism expert Evan Kohlmann. The government will be able to refer to Kohlmann for testimony regarding contextual analysis and definitions, but not for “profile” testimony. The defense was denied a motion to limit rehabilitation of panel members by the government during voir dire. Osborn also ordered defense to amend their request for witness production, as Osborn ruled their request did not comply with procedural rules. Osborn may rule whether she will require the government to produce defense requested witnesses at the next hearing. During the final hour, the prosecution and defense argued about the relevancy and admissibility of different evidence as it relates to the alleged motives and planning and preparation of the accused. Osborn delayed her decision on this matter. Selection of a panel (the military’s equivalent of a jury) remains set to begin May 29. The trial is set to begin July 1.
May 9, 2013 — Judge rules on pre-trial motions in Hasan case. Col. Tara Osborn, the trial judge in United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, held a pretrial hearing at the Lawrence J. Williams Judicial Center and issued several rulings from the bench 9 May. First, Osborn denied a defense request for a continuance until Sept. 1. The defense requested the continuance because of recent publicity from the Boston Marathon Bombing that included references to Hasan. Osborn granted several defense requests requiring the production of defense witnesses at trial, and also limited the type of evidence the government could introduce during sentencing proceedings. Finally, Osborn denied a defense request to make the Hasan court martial non-capital. She also again denied a defense request for the appointment of a media analysis expert. Osborn set the next hearing for May 29 and scheduled May 30 to begin panel selection. A panel is the military equivalent of a jury.
May 22, 2013 — Panel selection postponed six days in Hasan court-martial. Col. Tara Osborn, the trial judge in United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, has announced a change in next week’s scheduled court-martial. A pretrial hearing will still be held May 29, as originally announced by the court. However, panel selection, which was set to begin May 30, will now begin June 5. A new matter scheduled for discussion at the May 29 pretrial hearing is a request by the accused to waive his right to counsel and proceed pro se.
May 29, 2013 — Judge Osborn orders physical exam for Hasan. During the May 29 pretrial hearing in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the only issue before the court was Hasan’s request to represent himself during his trial. Col. Tara Osborn, presiding judge, discussed Hasan’s rights to counsel during the hearing. Hasan indicated that he wished to proceed with his trial without the assistance of his attorneys and to represent himself. The judge noted that a prior inquiry into Hasan’s mental health indicated that he had the mental capacity to conduct and assist in his own defense. She ordered the government to conduct a physical exam of Hasan and asked for a report from the physician concerning Hasan’s physical ability to conduct his own defense. The exam and medical report are to be completed by May 31. The judge will conduct another Article 39a hearing into this matter at 9 a.m. June 3.
June 4, 2013 — Judge Osborn rules on Maj Hasan’s motion to represent himself. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Judge Col. Tara Osborn heard testimony by Army physician Maj. Prasad Lakshminarasimhiah, M.D.M.C., [LUCK- SCHME-NARA-SIM-HIYA] staff physiatrist , Headquarters and Headquarters Company, San Antonio Military Medical Center, South, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as to Hasan’s ability to handle the physical strain of representing himself during his upcoming trial. Hasan was injured during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting incident and has since been confined to a wheelchair. Osborn found him physically and mentally capable capable of defending himself. She ruled in favor of his motion to waive defense counsel and defend himself, approving his motion to act pro se. The judge further ruled that defense counsel Lt. Col. Kris Poppe and Maj. Joseph Marcee may continue to act as stand-by counsel and will sit with Hasan throughout the trial. Hasan specifically requested that Lt. Col. Christopher Martin be removed from the defense team; however, Osborn ruled he will continue as stand-by counsel and will sit in the gallery. The accused, Hasan, is innocent until or unless he is proven guilty.
June 4, 2013 — Judge postpones ruling on trial delay in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Judge Col. Tara Osborn postponed ruling on defense’s motion for a continuance based on Hasan’s assertion that he needs time to develop the facts necessary to support his proffer for a “defense of others.” Hasan asserted his defense is based on his desire to protect the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the leadership of the Taliban to include Mullah Mohammad Omar. However, he was unable to provide sufficient facts at the time of today’s hearing in support of this defense. The judge allowed him until noon June 5 to provide the necessary facts to support the need for a continuance. In addition, the judge ordered that the panel members arrive no earlier than 1 p.m. June 10. The next Article 39a hearing is at noon June 5. The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
June 12, 2013 — Judge orders additional information from Major Hasan’s standby counsel. During the June 11 pretrial hearing in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the only issue before the court was Hasan’s request for assistance from standby counsel. Hasan’s standby counsel believed they complied with Hasan’s request. Hasan, on the other hand, felt that his counsel provided very limited support because of a disagreement over his strategy. Col. Tara Osborn, presiding judge, provided an order to standby counsel explaining they had a duty to provide legal support requested by Hasan. Hasan’s counsel objected to this order on ethical grounds. As a result, Osborn ordered Hasan’s standby counsel to submit a written, sealed brief to the court listing the factual and legal basis for their belief they could not comply with the Court’s order regarding their duties to assist Hasan. The brief is to be completed and filed by noon June 12. Osborn has currently not scheduled another Article 39a hearing into this matter. The accused, Hasan, is innocent until or unless he is proven guilty.
June 14, 2013 — Judge Osborn denies Major Hasan’s Defense of Others defense. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Col. Tara Osborn ruled that the “defense of others” defense fails as a matter of law. In viewing the submissions made by Hasan in a light most favorable to him, the judge decided that there was no evidence to support an immediate threat by anyone at Fort Hood to anyone in Afghanistan. Further, she ruled that as a uniformed Soldier in the U.S. Army, Hasan had no justification to kill other U.S. Soldiers. She ruled that she will not allow Hasan to present any evidence or argument relating to the defense of others. Osborn also ruled on Hasan’s complaints about the adequacy of assistance received in preparing the documents he submitted to the court. The judge ruled that the adequacy of assistance was irrelevant because no amount of legal research or argument would have resulted in a different ruling as it relates to the defense of others.
Osborn ordered all of the standby defense counsel to submit written briefs to the court outlining what they believed to be their role as standby counsel. The judge indicated she would issue a written order to standby counsel on their role in the case. The attorneys’ briefs are due June 17. Osborn allowed for the release of one of the paralegals on the defense team. The judge, however, ordered that there be a replacement for any paralegal released from the team. She also allowed for the release of Capt. Ryan Coward, military lawyer who assisted the defense counsel, so that he may separate from the Army. Coward has never appeared in court on behalf of Hasan.
June 18, 2013 — Stanby counsel role defined, judge sets new trial dates for Major Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Judge Col. Tara Osborn indicated that she had received a supplemental brief from Hasan concerning the “defense of others” defense. Osborn said that she considered the matters raised but declined to modify her ruling from the June 14 session where she ruled that the defense was not valid and she will not allow Hasan to present evidence or argument on such a defense. Furthermore, Osborn did not make a ruling regarding the motion for a continuance since Hasan chose to withdraw the motion.The judge also issued a written order defining the roles and responsibilities of standby counsel. The standby counsel are required to provide Hasan with all unclassified discovery materials, attend all sessions of court, be prepared to assume the role of defense counsel should the court order it or should Hasan request it. They also are to assist Hasan with legal research and procedural matters should he request their assistance. Both Lt. Col. Kris Poppe and Maj. Joseph Marcee will remain at the table with Hasan and Lt. Col. Christopher Martin will remain behind the bar. Additionally, Osborn asked Hasan’s standby counsel if they wanted to continue with their motion for withdrawal. Poppe stated that they would withdraw their motion based on her ruling on the “defense of others” defense and her written order defining standby counsel’s role in the case. Osborn also ordered Hasan to inform her of any prior motions that he wished her to reconsider and to file any additional motions by June 21. Panel selection will start on July 9 and opening statements will begin not earlier than Aug. 6. Finally, Osborn discussed a defense motion regarding security. She indicated that she had reviewed and sealed the security plans concerning the trial. She specifically found that there was no specific threat towards any specific person or category of persons. She also said that she ordered Fort Hood officials to inform her immediately if they became aware of a specific threat towards any specific person or category of persons.
June 27, 2013 — Pretrial hearings continue in the Hasan case, Hasan to enter plea July 2. During a pretrial hearing in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Judge Col. Tara Osborn ruled on several pending motions to include the Government’s request for the court to conduct group Voir Dire. Without any objection from Hasan, Osborn ruled that both parties would be allowed to conduct group Voir Dire and to individually question each jury panel member. Hasan also requested that Dr. Jeffery Frederick, jury panel selection expert, be present next to him while Hasan questions panel members. Additionally, both the government and Hasan are required to present each other with their proposed Voir Dire questions by June 28. The government’s motion to present a crime-scene video during Voir Dire was denied, pending the Government’s ability to remove repetitive imagery. Hasan had no objection, but supported the judge’s proposal to remove repetitive images. Osborn further ruled that the government is restricted in the use of some e-mail evidence pending proof that the value of such evidence outweighs potential prejudice. However, use of Private 1st Class Francheska Velez’s statement, “My baby, my baby” will be allowed. Finally, Hasan removed approximately 16 of his Voir Dire questions. The next hearing will be held on 10 a.m. July 2. Hasan will enter a plea at that time.
July 2, 2013 — Judge denies Major Hasan’s request for a continuance. In another pretrial hearing in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, July 2, Hasan asked Judge Col. Tara Osborn for a three day continuance to allow him time to evaluate whether he will hire a new attorney, former Attorney General William Ramsey Clark. Judge Osborn denied the request, stating that Hasan has seven days before trial begins on July 9 to determine whether he will hire a new lawyer to assist in his defense. She denied any request for an additional continuance based on a request for new counsel. Osborn cited the multiple changes Hasan has made in his defense counsel, having already been represented by John Galligan, in addition to his current stand-by defense counsel, and having fired them all, now acting pro se. Hasan further refused to enter a plea, so the court entered a plea on his behalf of “not guilty.” In other matters, voir dire questions were reviewed and all questions related to the “defense of others” were stricken. Multiple motions were also addressed, to include motions previously considered by Judge Gregory Gross related to prosecutorial misconduct, disqualification of the Staff Judge Advocate, a set aside of Congressional legislation, and an objection that this trial is being tried as a capital case without having first been taken before a grand jury. All motions were reconsidered by Judge Osborn and denied.
July 9, 2013 — Jury Panel Selection Begins in Hasan Trial. Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn and government counsel posed general panel questions to 20 potential panel members assembled July 9 at Fort Hood in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. Hasan asked no general questions of the panel. Six members were excused for cause, and the remaining 14 panel members will be asked more specific questions beginning 9 a.m. July 10 by both sides. Hasan continued to represent himself pro se with his stand-by counsel available. Osborn confronted Hasan on his recent release of documents to the media in violation of a court order. She reminded him that repeated violations of court rules and orders may result in him being represented by counsel.
July 10, 2013 — Panel selection continues in Major Hasan court martial: Ten panel members selected. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, nine panel members were individually questioned July 10 by both the government and the defense to assess their suitability as jurors. During jury panel questioning, Hasan was twice instructed by Judge Col. Tara Osborn to refrain from his line of questioning when it began to appear that he was entering testimony and not asking questions as an attorney. The judge reminded panel members who were asked these questions that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Hasan then focused his questions on what panel members knew of Sharia law and Islam. In the afternoon session, Hasan recalled a previously questioned panel member to question him once again on his thoughts regarding Islam. Subsequently, four members were excused from duty after the government counsel challenged them for cause. Hasan delcined to challenge any members remaining. The panel now consists of ten members. At least thirteen are required to be seated prior to the start of trial Aug. 6. Six additional panel members will be brought in at 11 a.m. July 15.
July 15, 2013 — Panel selection continues in Major Hasan court martial. In the case of U.S. v. Nidal M. Hasan, six additional panel members were questioned July 15 by the Judge, and counsel for both the government and defense. Three members were challenged for cause by the government with no objection from Hasan. However, the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, withheld ruling on the challenges. Panel selection will continue at 9 a.m. July 16 here. The panel remains at 10 members. At least 13 are required to be seated prior to the start of trial Aug. 6.
July 16, 2013 — Major Hasan’s court-martial panel selected. In a brief session to hear remaining arguments, three final court-martial panel members were selected in U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan here. The court-martial panel now consists of 13 senior Army officers to include nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels and one major. Two of the panel members are female and 11 are male. The highest ranking officer is a female colonel and therefore acts as the president of the board. Trial is set for Aug. 6. Routine Article 39A hearings will continue between now and the trial.
July 18, 2013 — Judge Osborn prepares for opening statements in Hasan trial. Military Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn heard arguments for motions related to evidence and witnesses July 18 in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. The judge established Hasan had sufficient access to resources to prepare his defense and instructed Hasan on how to properly conduct his opening statement. Osborn ruled that the government is not allowed to use an FBI video during their opening statement. Speaking at the request of Hasan, stand-by counsel Lt. Col. Kris Poppe argued that the government must provide a written summary of the testimony of all victim family members the government wishes to examine. The judge withheld ruling on the matter until the next scheduled hearing at 2:30 p.m. July 24 here. The panel will convene on Aug. 5 to allow time to conduct additional questioning in the event a current panel member becomes unavailable.
July 25, 2013 — Government defends use of evidence in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Military Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn required government lawyers to explain the relevance of using a photo of Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, autopsy photos, crime-scene video, 911-call recordings, and the law enforcement dash-camera video as evidence in the court-martial. The judge ruled the government may not use any photos of the deceased and also may not use a crime scene video during opening statements. Hasan, representing himself, stated he did not wish for too many autopsy photos to be “paraded” as he said he was concerned for the dignity of the deceased. No other rulings were made at this hearing. The next pretrial hearing will be held 2:30 p.m. July 31 here. The panel is scheduled to convene on Aug. 5 to allow time to conduct additional questioning in the event a current panel member becomes unavailable. The first day of testimony in the court-martial remains scheduled for Aug. 6.
July 31, 2013 — Judge denies use of emails during opening statement; grants use of photo, audio, evidence in Hasan case. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Military Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn denied use of three alleged e-mails between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki by the government in opening statements. In addition, government prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider a previous motion to preadmit this evidence, but Osborn again denied the motion, saying she would wait to determine the admissibility of this evidence until she hears testimony at trial putting the evidence in context. Other matters discussed today were the admissibility of photographic and video evidence, which were granted by Osborn, and the admissibility of 3 audio 911 calls recorded during the incident on Nov. 5, 2009. A request for an order limiting public statements made by either the government or defense not related directly to matters presented in court or upcoming court hearings was denied. The next pre-trial Article 39a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 2 here. The panel is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 to allow time to conduct additional questioning in the event a current panel member becomes unavailable.
August 2, 2013 — Government granted right to use motive evidence. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn ruled in a pretrial hearing Aug. 2 that the government may introduce Internet searches on the Taliban and jihad conducted by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan in the days and hours before his alleged attacks on fellow service members here. In order to establish a timeline of progressive radicalization, the government requested the introduction of Hasan’s academic presentations in defense of suicide bombing, his interest in Sgt. Hasan Akbar, and presentations about soldiers conflicted about their military service because of their religion, when that conflict also resulted in crime. The judge deferred ruling on this motion until the government presents evidence at trial to put the evidence into context. The prosecution asked the judge for permission to enter Military Police Officer Mark Todd’s testimony in the Article 32 hearing in lieu of testimony during the trial. The prosecution’s request was denied by the judge. The judge initially denied the prosecution’s request, but said the parties could offer more evidence to establish Todd was medically unavailable to testify. Hasan joined in a motion with Fox News to compel the government to allow him to have an on-camera interview by the media. The judge ruled this was not a matter within the purview of the court and denied ruling on the motion. In other matters, the judge clarified with Hasan that he only plans to call two witnesses during the trial. She also entered into evidence several stipulations of fact and stipulations of expected testimony from subject matter experts. At the end of the hearing, she restated her ground rules for the procedures to be followed during trial. The judge told Hasan that he could testify on his own behalf but could not testify during his opening statements if he chose to make one. The panel is scheduled to convene at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 5 to allow time to conduct additional questioning in the event a current panel member becomes unavailable. The first day of testimony in the court-martial remains scheduled for 9 am. Aug. 6.
August 6, 2013 — Opening statements and begining testimony in Hasan court-martial. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Thomas Rheinlander, Fort Hood public affairs officer, released the following statement outlining morning court-martial events Aug. 6. This is the first trial day of the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan is accused of 13 separate capital offenses, specifically, the premeditated murder of 12 Soldiers and one retired Soldier in addition to the wounding of 31 others. The military trial process is a deliberate one. It is intended to ensure that all accused are given a fair trial. The military justice system predates the Constitution, and the proceedings are based on statutes and the Constitution which require a jury panel hear all capital offenses. A defendant may not plead guilty to a capital offense and in this way, the military criminal justice process ensures a fair trial is provided. The governments’ morning opening statement detailed the alleged events of the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2009. Prosecuting attorneys opened with a description of events beginning with the purchase of a firearm, a notification that Hasan would soon deploy, and ended with the shooting of fellow Soldiers at the Soldier Readiness Center. Acting as his own counsel, Hasan presented a brief opening statement in which he indicated the evidence would show he was the shooter. He further stated that he realized during the war that he eventually found himself “on the wrong side”, and he switched sides, considering himself a Mujahedeen. Hasan offered apologies for the mistakes he made in this endeavor. Eight witnesses have testified for the government thus far. They presented evidence of the purchase of a weapon and frequent practice at a local shooting range. Witnesses further testified that Hasan had been selected to deploy in October 2009. They also testified that Hasan gave away all of his possessions shortly before the shooting. Court recessed for lunch at 1 p.m. and Hasan’s prayers, and the government will continue to present witnesses and evidence from 2:30-5 p.m.
End of first day testimony in Hasan court-martial. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Thomas Rheinlander, Fort Hood public affairs officer, released the following statement outlining afternoon court-martial events Aug. 6. “Four additional witnesses testified this afternoon in the case of the United States versus Major Nidal Hasan. A fellow member of the local mosque testified to a final conversation he had with Hasan after services on the morning of November 5, whereby Hasan said goodbye and stated he was going on a journey. Several hours later he was seen by a neighbor, just before he was alleged to have appeared at the SRP site on Fort Hood. Retired Staff Sergeant Alonzo Lunsford testified to being shot seven times by Hasan, and praised three fellow SRP employees for rendering medical aid under gunfire. Michelle Harper, a civilian employee, testified to watching a soldier, (Pfc.) Michael Pearson shot. As she escaped she witnessed the shootout between Officer Kimberly Munley and Major Hasan. Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Aug. 7.”
August 7, 2013 — Defense motion ends in ex parte hearing. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Thomas Rheinlander, Fort Hood public affairs officer, released the following statement outlining court-martial events Aug. 7. “An ex parte’ motion was held this morning between the judge, Major Nidal Hasan, and his three stand-by counsel. His stand-by counsel presented a motion to modify their required role as Hasan’s counsel. The basis of the motion is protected by attorney-client privilege, which Hasan did not waive. Therefore the motion was heard with only the judge and the defense present. The motion was originated because his stand-by counsel stated they feel they should not be required to assist a client who seeks the death penalty. Hasan objected to his stand-by counsel’s assertion that he is seeking the death penalty. The judge cleared the court room and began discussions with the defense. It is unknown what her ruling will be at this point, and court is in recess until 9 a.m. Aug. 8.”
August 8, 2013 – Defense counsel’s motion to modify the role of standby counsel was denied by judge Osborn. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the judge stated that the defense counsel’s motion to modify the terms of their role as standby counsel was denied. The defense counsel will remain in their role as stand-by counsel to occasionally assist throughout the trial. Speaking for the prosecution, Col. Michael Mulligan stated Hasan has two options in asserting his defense at this point, “I didn’t do it” or “I did it and I have an excuse, and it appears that Hasan has chosen the latter method, which is a tried and true method of defense.” A total of 15 witnesses testified in support of the Government’s case-in-chief. Several following witnesses testified to their wounds and to witnessing the loss of friends and unit members. Testimony highlighted the quick actions of those unarmed Soldiers and civilians, many of whom reached out to assist their fellow injured Soldiers. A continued full day of testimony is anticipated 9 a.m. Aug. 9.
August 9, 2013 – Defense counsel continues to object their role as standby counsel. In the case of U.S. vs. Major Nidal M. Hasan, two of the three standby counsels being excused in order to provide time to research and submit a writ to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Prosecutors have offered the testimony of some of the victims and witnesses of the shooting on November 5, 2009. It appears from testimonies thus far that Soldiers in uniform were primarily targeted. Many bullet fragments were entered into evidence as witnesses testified to receiving multiple gunshot wounds. Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Aug. 12.”
August 12, 2013 — The court-martial day began with Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn addressing brief procedural matters. In the case of the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, witnesses continued to corroborate previous testimony. Most of the witnesses testified to their disbelief in what they experienced believing this was a training exercise even after some had been shot. Testimony offered by Kimberly Regina Huseman provided insight into the events inside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center building as evidenced by her recorded 911 call replayed by the prosecution without objection by the defendant. Gunfire was audible in the background as her recording described the scene. She ended her just over six-minute call asking the operator to ensure medical help was sent immediately while she and fellow victims gave aid to the wounded before the emergency responders arrived. Witness testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Aug. 13.
August 13, 2013 – Expert testimonies begin with a high volume of evidence. In the case of the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, five witnesses testified on the more technical aspects of evidence. Three Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents, a former Army Criminal Investigation Division officer and one forensic pathologist testified. Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn ordered a hearing outside the presence of the panel in order to hear the testimony of two forensic pathologists in order to determine in advance whether their testimony and exhibits were admissible before the presentation of their testimony to the panel. These efforts assisted in ensuring the accused is offered every opportunity to be protected from any lack of knowledge of available objections he may have. Inside Building 42003, 146 spent shell casings and 6 magazines were seized by the FBI and entered into evidence. Numerous photos of the scene were shown to the panel in addition to a seven-minute video of the crime scene taken several hours after it occurred. Other evidence presented included bullet trajectory analysis derived from the more than 270 bullet holes and impacts found in Building 42003. More testimony from forensic pathologists is anticipated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 14.
August 14, 2013 — Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn began the morning session discussing whether the accused had waived his protective privilege for medical documents he had released to the media. In the trial of the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Hasan said he was willing to waive the privilege, the judge has held off on making a ruling on the matter. Two expert forensic examiners provided evidence to the cause and manner of death of Soldiers. Evidence was entered to include autopsy photos, bullets, bullet fragments and autopsy diagrams, which assisted in explaining the location and trajectory of the bullets. When the panel was dismissed, the judge reconsidered stand-by counsel’s request to reconsider their role. Their motion was once again denied. This request was done in conjunction with more discussion of the accused’s release of protected medical information. After consideration of the 702 board record released by Hasan to the media and the waiver by Hasan of his protected privilege, the Judge ruled that she would not order the release of the full document to the prosecution. More testimony from forensic pathologists is anticipated to begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 15.
August 15, 2013 — The Aug. 15 afternoon session of the court-martial of U.S. v. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan heard more testimony from three forensic pathologists. The government concluded their questioning of these experts with regard to their testimony concerning autopsies they performed at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Office at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Each pathologist testified to the multiple gunshot wounds suffered by the victims and that each death was labeled a “homicide.” The final witness for the day, retired Army Maj. Clifford Hopewell, was in charge of the Traumatic Brain Injury Soldier Readiness Processing Center at the time of the shooting. Hopewell was a colleague of Hasan in the psychiatry department and testified that he was asked to identify Hasan by law enforcement officials at the scene on Nov. 5. Ballistics evidence experts are anticipated to testify beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 here.
August 16, 2013 — Court adjourned here early Aug 16 following three witnesses who testified for the government in the court-martial of U.S. v. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. Proceedings included testimony from two law enforcement officials who testified about how they secured more than 150 spent shell casings from a FN 5.7 handgun, eight magazines, and an FN 5.7 handgun outside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center here. Also secured on the scene was a .357 handgun still loaded with five live rounds. The weapons used by Fort Hood Police officers Sgt. Mark Todd and Sgt. Kimberly Munley in their gunfight with Hasan were also entered into evidence. Munley testified as to the events of the shootout, saying that shortly after her arrival on scene she began receiving gun fire, which she immediately returned. The video tape from Munley’s police car dash camera was also shown to the panel, and dust clouds from rounds impacting the nearby parking lot could be seen between parked cars. The courtroom was silent as Munley described the moment her weapon, and the shooter’s weapon, jammed near the same time. After testimonies concluded, the accused, Hasan, indicated that he has modified his witness list, removing his mitigation expert, Dr. Timothy Semmerling. While Semmering may still testify, Judge (Col) Tara Osborn allowed Hasan to resurrect the privilege protecting their communications and his work product. Hasan stated he still wishes to employ Dr. Semmerling as a mitigation expert to advise him.
August 19, 2013 — The government presented eight witnesses on Aug. 19. Seven afternoon witnesses followed detailed ballistics evidence presented in the morning session by FBI Special Agent Jerry Mills here. Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Special Agents Jamie Gorsuch and Kelly Jameson, the latter being recalled after providing prior testimony in the case, presented evidence on the contents of Hasan’s vehicle, found parked in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center parking lot on November 5, 2009. This testimony included information about receipts for batteries purchased on November 2 and 3, 2009, that would work in the laser sites for a pistol purchased by Hasan and seized at the crime scene. Following the CID Agents’ testimony, the government ORALLY presented a change in a stipulation of fact in which both parties agreed to modify the definition of “jihad.” FBI Special Agent Charles Cox then testified as to what he found during a forensic search of a computer seized in the accused’s apartment. Cox indicated that the computer belonged to Hasan and that multiple Internet searches had been conducted using this computer related to such matters as the “killing of innocent persons,” “jihad,” “laser sites,” “Afghanistan,” “Taliban” and “5.7 x .28 caliber ammunition.” Final witnesses presented testimony indicating that they had witnessed an individual, identified as Hasan, crouched outside Building 42007 as he reloaded a pistol. These witnesses had been in attendance at a Howze Theater college graduation ceremony in close proximity to the shooting site. They stated they heard Hasan say “don’t worry,” and a “training exercise” was going on. One witness testified having witnessed a shootout between the accused and two Fort Hood police officers. Hasan cross-examined this witness, specifically asking if the witness could explain in detail what the witness had seen. The witness described that he saw Hasan continue to fire on Sgt. Kimberly Munley after she was disarmed. Hasan asked no further questions. More testimony from prosecution witnesses is anticipated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 20 here.
August 20, 2013–After 11 days of testimony from 89 witnesses, the government rested its case in chief at 12:30 Aug. 20 in the case of U.S. vs. Nidal M. Hasan. Judge (Col) Tara Osborn began the day reviewing the witness list from the defense. Hasan stated he did not wish to have Dr. Lewis Rambo, a religious conversion expert, testify on his behalf. Osborn ordered the government to ensure Rambo was present for a face-to-face conversation and in the event Hasan changed his mind. The government’s final five witnesses began with testimony from photographer Steven Bennett who had photographed an individual he testified was Hasan on Nov. 5, 2009. Those photographs were shown to the panel corroborating prior testimony of individuals in the area at the time of the shooting. Additional testimony from a bystander also corroborated the shootout between the civilian police officers and the shooter. The government read a stipulation of expected testimony for Fort Hood Police Officer Mark A. Todd, Sr., which outlined his version of the shootout between himself and the accused. No objection was offered by Hasan. Two additional witnesses testified to Hasan’s reluctance to deploy, one of whom testified to Hasan’s statement that if he was made to deploy, “they will pay.” Also according to witness testimony, the accused had requested a follow-on fellowship in an effort to delay his deployment by two years. Finally, minor changes were then made to the charge sheets, changing the ranks of two of the victims listed. Once again, no objection was made by the accused. Court will be back in session at 9 a.m. Aug. 21.
August 21, 2013— Court reconvened 9 a.m. Aug. 21 with an Article 39A hearing where Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn clarified a ruling she made in regard to witnesses being able to speak to the media. She reiterated that this was a temporary order and that once the court-martial is over, the witnesses will be able to speak about the case. Once the panel entered the courtroom and was seated, the proceeding began with Osborn instructing Hasan to begin his defense. Hasan stated, “the defense rests.” The panel was then instructed to leave the courtroom until 9 a.m. Aug. 22 so the court could address procedural matters. During an Article 39A hearing that immediately followed, Osborn instructed both parties to review documents, which lists more than 700 pieces of evidence, for their admissibility to the panel members for consideration during deliberations. Osborn asked Hasan if he wanted her to include in her instruction to panel members that Hasan did not take the stand; Hasan replied yes. Osborn also made an inquiry on the record, if the parties’ thought the evidence raised the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter to premeditated murder. Both parties told Osborn the evidence did not raise that lesser included offense, and Osborn stated she would take the matter under advisement. Instructions on the charges were discussed in an Article 39A session outside of the presence of the panel at 4 p.m. Aug. 21. The accused stated he would defer to the judge’s discretion on the instructions submitted to the panel. Finally, the panel will hear any closing arguments offered by the parties Aug. 22. They will be provided instructions as determined by the judge. Parties will be back in court at 9 a.m. and the panel is expected shortly thereafter at 9:15 a.m. Aug. 22.
August 22, 2013— Following a trial that has lasted just more than two weeks, trial counsel Col. Steven Henricks provided the government’s closing argument in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. Walking the panel through the evidence presented in the case, the government outlined their argument that Hasan committed 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. During closing, the government alleged the accused held two motives for the shooting. First, that the accused did not want to deploy. If made to deploy, he stated “they will pay.” The other motive presented by the prosecution was that Hasan came to believe he possessed a jihad duty to kill as many Soldiers as he could. Hasan, who continues to represent himself pro se, chose not to provide a closing argument. After a brief lunch break, the panel returned to begin deliberations. The judge instructed the panel along with other instructions, that in order for the death penalty to remain an option in the case, they must return a unanimous verdict on the capital offenses of premeditated murder. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the panel members returned on the record at 5:47 p.m. Aug. 22 with questions. The panel asked for Fort Hood Police Officer Mark Todd’s stipulation of expected testimony to be reread and at the same time have the crime sketch attached to his stipulation displayed on the screens. The judge granted the request and trial counsel Maj. Larry Downend reread the testimony to the panel. The panel members requested a recess until 9 a.m. Aug. 23 and the request was granted.
August 23, 2013— In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan the panel returned a verdict with a unanimous finding of guilty to the original charge of 13 counts of premeditated murder and guilty of 32 counts of the additional charges of attempted premeditated murder. Because each of the 13 premeditated murder convictions authorize the death penalty, the law required the panel to report if its findings were unanimous for those counts only. A unanimous finding of guilt to premeditated murder allows the death penalty to remain a possible sentence.The sentencing phase of the court-martial began with an Article 39a hearing at 3 p.m. Aug. 23 and will reconvene at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 here. During the afternoon Aug. 23 hearing, Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn and the parties worked out procedures for the sentencing phase of the trial.Hasan was asked if he still wanted to defend himself given that he now faces a possible death sentence by the judge. Hasan affirmed that he wishes to continue with defending himself.
August 26, 2013–Following the government’s conviction last week of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the government presented 12 witnesses during the sentencing phase in the case of U.S. vs. Hasan. Two victims took the stand once again, this time to describe the impact the shooting had on their lives. Staff Sgt. Patrick Ziegler Jr. had returned early from his deployment to Fort Hood, Texas, in order to allow him to commission through the officer candidate school as an armor officer. He is now paralyzed on his left side and has lost 20 percent of his brain. Pfc. Mick Engnehl, who was also enlisted and stationed at Fort Hood at the time of the shooting, was shot twice. After a partial recovery from his injuries, he has been medically discharged and is unable to find work. Ten family members and coworkers of the deceased also testified. They were comprised of widows, parents, and fellow Soldiers who gave witness to the losses they and their families have suffered as a result of the murder of their loved ones. More testimony on the impact of the shooting on family and loved ones of the victims will continue this afternoon. Following the afternoon lunch recess, the Judge (Col.) Tara Osborn recessed court until 9 a.m. Aug. 27 because of logistical issues. Hasan was unanimously convicted of 13 charges of premeditated murder and guilty of 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder.
August 27, 2013— After two days of emotional testimony by 20 witnesses, the government rested its case Aug. 27 on sentencing phase in the U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. Seven witnesses testified for the prosecution, expressing the significant loss and suffering their families have endured in the wake of the shooting. One of the witnesses who testified on behalf of the government, Joleen Cahill, said her husband, retired Chief Warrant Officer Michael Cahill, had given his life in an effort to stop Hasan. She spoke of the devastation experienced by her family in the time following the shooting. After the loss of her husband, whom she described as the glue that kept her family together, she said she is now taking control back from the acts of Hasan and into her own hands once again. Also testifying this morning were Lt. Col. (Retired) Randy Royer, Geraldine Krueger, Sheryll Pearson, Philip Warman, Teena Nemelka and Christine Gaffaney. Each experienced personal loss, either directly or by way of the loss of their husband, wife, daughter or son. Each took back a measure of control over this loss by their testimony, in facing Hasan and expressing the cost of his actions on the lives of their families after Nov. 5, 2009. A stipulation of expected testimony also was read for Mari Kay DeCrow, after which the prosecution rested. The defense stated he would not present any documents during sentencing, nor will the two witnesses he previously requested be called to testify on his behalf. After a morning of emotional testimony from surviving widows and parents of some of those murdered on Nov. 5, 2009, in the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nadal M. Hasan, the government rested its sentencing case against Hasan Aug. 27 here. During the afternoon court session, Hasan declined to present any matters for consideration of his sentence, and declined to make a statement to the court. Hasan simply stated “the defense rests.” Hasan’s stand-by defense counsel submitted an ex-parte motion to present extenuation and mitigation on behalf of Hasan over his objection. The Judge (Col) Tara Osborn denied the motion, stating a pro-se defendant in the military justice system “is the captain of his own ship.”
August 28, 2013— In the court-martial of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, he was sentenced to death Aug. 28 following panel deliberations which lasted less than two hours here. Lead prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan provided the closing argument on sentencing on behalf of the government in this case. Mulligan argued that Hasan “should not be punished for his religion, he should be punished for his hate.” He went further to state that Hasan’s actions created a debt to society and this debt should be paid with his life. Hasan elected not to provide a closing argument. The panel also included as punishment, forfeiture of all of Hasan’s pay and allowances, dismissal from the service, and a death sentence. The post trial process will now begin, and the matter will initially be brought before the convening authority, the III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General, for his review. Given that the death sentence was imposed, the military justice system requires this case to be automatically appealed to the U.S. Army Criminal Court of Appeals (ACCA), and then to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). While the appeal process is underway, Hasan will be incarcerated in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
The following statements were read at an evening press conference at the request and on behalf of four families.
From: The Family of Capt. John Gaffaney:
“The family of Captain John Paul Gaffaney would like to acknowledge the expertise and fine work of our prosecution team. They have worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring this case to its necessary conclusion. The support that we have each received from our family, friends, colleagues and the greater nation, as well as the National Tragedy Assistance Program, has been enormously appreciated – as we have worked through the agony of this tragedy. Thank you all for continuing to honor and support our fallen and our wounded.”
From: Melissa Czemerda – Daughter of Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman:
“We are thankful for the just verdict that has finally been rendered. However, we are very dissatisfied with the media attention to Hasan and his extremist views. These types of murderers thrive on media attention. It promotes violence for other disturbed individuals seeking a platform for their sick and twisted views. We hope in the future the media will concentrate on the impact tragedy’s have on the survivors.”
From: Jerri Krueger – Mother of Staff Sgt. Amy S. Krueger:
“We have finally come to the end of one long emotional journey. Although the pain of losing Amy will always weigh heavy upon us, we have some relief knowing that Hasan was found guilty without doubt and that he will pay for what he did.”
From: Teena Nemelka and Family – Mother of Pfc. Aaron T. Nemelka:
First, I would like to thank the prosecution team for their hard work and diligence to bring Hasan to justice. I have been much relieved that justice has been reached. We have all heard that Hasan believes with the death penalty that he will be seen as a martyr, but I know and feel that he is a coward, a traitor and a murderer. He was convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder!! I am happy and satisfied with that. I appreciate the support and prayers from so many out there.”
Gale Hunt, mother of SPC Jason ‘J.D.’ Hunt also spoke and took questions.
January 26, 2015 — Judge calls for Article 39a for MAJ Hasan case to discuss proceedural matters. In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the presiding military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ordered a post-trial hearing for 10 a.m. (CST) Jan. 29 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Osborn plans to review routine matters such as Hasan’s post-trial rights and elections, discuss the Record of Trial and Hasan’s post-trial representation by counsel.