FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — After watching the prosecution call 89 witnesses over 11 days and declining to cross-examine all but a select few, Major Nidal Hasan decided not to testify or present a case of his own.
The accused Fort Hood shooting suspect chose to defend himself in the oft-delayed trial, but has seldom mounted any semblance of a defense as witness after witness pointed him out as the shooter that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in the November 2009 attack.
Wednesday was expected to be a potentially packed day with Hasan’s defense, followed by closing arguments, and then possible jury deliberations and verdict.
That all fizzled ten minutes after Judge Tara Osborn took the stand and asked Hasan to begin calling witnesses.
“The defense rests,” was Hasan’s reply.
When asked by Osborn if the decision to not testify was his and his alone, Hasan confirmed that his co-council had not made the decision for him.
Moments later, Osborn decided to release the jury panel for the day after the government requested to spend the remainder of Wednesday preparing the charge and jury instructions for their looming deliberations.
Closing arguments will begin at 9am Thursday and panel deliberations are expected to begin immediately afterwards.
Hasan’s defense attorneys filed a motion to modify their role on Day 2 of the trial because they believed Hasan was intentionally trying to secure a death sentence.
The judge ordered them to stay on the case and Hasan denied their assertion, but the defendant has said and done very little as evidence mounted against him.
No matter how clear cut the evidence may appear, jury deliberations may still be a lengthy process because of the amount of charges the panel must consider.
There are 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder they must individually consider and render a decision.
The prosecution said Wednesday they would request the option of unpremeditated murder be included as lesser included offense, giving the jury a choice of charges with which they can convict Hasan.
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