FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A U.S. military judge says she'll decide next week whether to delay a shooting suspect's trial after hearing more about his strategy to defend himself for the 2009 Army base attack that killed 13 people.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is seeking a three-month delay to prepare. His "defense of others" strategy requires him to prove the shootings were necessary to protect others from imminent harm or death.
Hasan says U.S. troops deploying from the Army post posed an immediate danger to Taliban fighters.
The judge said Wednesday she's giving Hasan more time to file paperwork about his evidence. The next hearing is Tuesday.
Hasan faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Military experts said the judge may not allow Hasan to claim that he killed to defend Taliban leaders. And such a decision could lead to even more delays in a case that's dragged on for years.
Jeff Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University, said it's unlikely that Hasan will have the legal elements needed to move forward with the strategy.
The judge has said Hasan's defense attorneys would remain on the case to assist if he asks. A jail rule prevents him from having Internet access, the judge said.
Delays in the case have included arguments over a beard Hasan grew. Facial hair violates Army rules, but he said it was required by his Muslim faith.
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