FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage will enter pleas in the case after the judge refused to delay his trial.
Maj. Nidal Hasan must plead not guilty Wednesday to the 13 counts of premeditated murder he currently faces in the 2009 attack. Military law doesn't allow guilty pleas to charges that carry the death penalty as the maximum sentence.
Hasan also is charged with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the attack at the Texas Army post. Military prosecutors and defense attorneys are barred from discussing the case outside court, so it's unclear how Hasan will plead to those charges.
The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, refused Tuesday to delay the long-awaited trial again and said it would begin with jury selection as scheduled Monday. The trial for an Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting has been put on hold while an appeals court considers his objections to being forcibly shaved.
All court proceedings for Maj. Nidal Hasan were put on hold Wednesday. He had been scheduled to enter a plea.
According to a defense motion, Hasan indicated he wanted to plead guilty for religious reasons. Hasan is an American-born Muslim.
But the judge, Col. Gregory Gross, said he could not accept a guilty plea on the 13 charges of premeditated murder.
The trial that was to start Monday will be on hold until the Army appeals court rules on Hasan's objection to being shaved.
Gross had previously ordered Hasan to shave his beard or be forcibly shaved before trial.
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