FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — The U.S. government and Army Maj. Nidal Hasan came close Monday to completing jury panel selection for the trial of the man accused of killing 13 in a 2009 shooting rampage on the military post..
Judge Tara Osburn has also locked in Aug. 6 as the day opening statements will begin.
Jury selection was expected to last between two and three weeks, but through just one week, 10 panel members have already been seated. The 42-year-old Hasan, who was paralyzed from returned gunfire on the day of the shootings, is acting as his own lawyer.
A unanimous decision of at least 12 panel members is necessary to reach a verdict in the trial, but between 13-16 Army officers are expected to be seated on the panel due to the possibility some will have to leave the trial to fulfill military service.
Potential panel members are being brought to Fort Hood in groups of 20 to undergo general questioning as a group and individual questioning.
Hasan is allowed to wear the beard he grew for religious reasons. Potential jurors were told by the judge not to hold it against him eve though facial hair violates Army rules.
Last week, Hasan pressed each potential member on their views of Islam and the death penalty during individual questioning.
The government struck down multiple potential jurors after they expressed opposing views to the death penalty.
On Monday, both sides conducted general questioning to the second group of 20.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
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FEMA teams returned to Southeast Austin to assess damage to public property like roads, bridges, and parks.