FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) - Both sides rested Tuesday in the sentencing phase of the trial for convicted Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan.
Hasan, quiet for most of the trial, passed up one last opportunity to speak about the attack that killed 13 people.
The jury was sent home for the day around 2:30 p.m. And closing arguments will start Wednesday.
Shortly after the jury left the courtroom, Col. Tara Osborn, the trial judge, asked Hasan more than two dozen questions in rapid fire, affirming that he knew what he was doing. His answers were succinct and just as rapid.
"It is my personal decision," he said. "It is free and voluntary."
Osborne then read him several court opinions to back up her decision not to introduce evidence in Hasan's favor on her own.
"In other words, Maj. Hasan, you are the captain of your own ship," Osborn said.
Families testify about pain
Prior to the prosecution resting, the jury panel heard more emotional testimony from victim’s family members.
When the twin towers came crashing down on Sept, 11, 2001, Amy Krueger made a decision about her life.
“She said ‘I’m going in,’” her mother Jerri testified on Tuesday in front of the crowded Fort Hood courtroom. “She said she was joining the Army.”
Jerri Krueger told the story in front of the 13 jurors at Maj. Nidal Hasan’s sentencing trial. After prosecutors completed their part in the sentencing phase, Hasan told the court he would not be presenting evidence when his turn comes later Tuesday. He faces the death penalty.
“I told her that she couldn’t take on bin Laden on her own,” said Jerri. Her daughter responded by saying “Watch me.”
Amy Krueger was one of the 13 people Hasan shot and killed on Nov. 5, 2009.
Over the last two days, family members of those killed have told several stories about their soldiers’ lives and childhoods as family pictures and portraits were shown to the jury panel.
Those stories were then followed by another story, but of heartbreak.
“I had a very bad feeling,” said Jerri about the day she heard there was a shooting at Fort Hood.
Despite several calls and texts, Amy would not respond.
“As more time went on, obviously the hope diminished.”
Then like every other family member before her had testified, she received a visit from two Army officers.
“At 2 o’clock (in the morning), I heard a tap at the door. I saw two soldiers standing there and I knew she was gone.”
Teena Nemelka said it was a knock on the door she did not want to answer.
“You just freeze. You can’t open that door. You don’t want to hear that news,” cried Nemelka, the mother of victim Aaron Nemelka.
The impact of such tragedy is something the jury panel will be asked to weigh when they decide if Hasan deserves life in prison or the death penalty.
“When a parent loses a child, it creates an irreparable, irreplaceable, void. It is like a part of you is missing. I live with that everyday,” said Jerri Krueger.
Philip Warman turned to alcohol after his wife, Juanita Warman, was killed in the attack.
“It was like something was ripped out of me,” said Philip who testified he checked into an alcoholic rehab center for 28 days. He also asked a friend to take what firearms he had out of his house.
“I wasn’t suicidal, but I didn’t trust myself.”
Warman receives special coins as a part of his alcoholic rehab. He said he takes the coins and pushes them into the ground at Arlington National Cemetery where his wife is buried.
Joleen Cahill’s husband, Michael, was the only civilian killed in the attack. His death nearly broke up their family of three children and two grandchildren.
“Until recently, we have not been very united. Mike was the glue in our family,” said Joleen. She never canceled her husband’s cell phone so her children could still call, leave a message, and hear their dad’s voice on the voicemail greeting.
By the end of her testimony, Teena Nemelka’s voice was shaken and tears were in her eyes, but she still managed to tell the jury one final thing before exiting the stand.
“I had the honor and privilege of being his mother and raising such an honorable boy. And nothing or no one can take that away from me.”
This report contains material from The Associated Press.
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