FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday against the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood in the deadliest such attack on a military base in the U.S.
Nidal Hasan will have the chance to begin his defense Wednesday, but it wasn't clear whether he would take it. The U.S.-born Muslim has rejected the help of his lawyers, who accuse him of trying to get a conviction and death sentence.
Hasan has told jurors he was the gunman in the attack, which also wounded more than 30. The 2009 attack targeted soldiers who, like Hasan, were preparing to be sent to Afghanistan.
Prosecutors have been moving carefully in the trial because a death sentence automatically goes to the military appeals courts, which have overturned most of the death sentences they have reviewed.
Hasan has leaked documents during the trial seeking to justify the shootings as a defense of this faith.
Prosecution witnesses described how a lone gunman wearing Army fatigues shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great!" — before drawing a laser-sighted pistol and opening fire inside a medical building on the Army post. The building was crowded with unarmed soldiers.
A doctor who worked with Hasan, Dr. Tonya Kozminksi, testified Tuesday that he told her the Army would "pay" if he were ever deployed overseas.
Hasan was left paralyzed after being shot by officers responding to the shooting.
The judge on Monday blocked much of the evidence prosecutors said would explain Hasan's motive, including references to Hasan Akbar, a Muslim soldier sentenced to death for attacking fellow soldiers in Kuwait during the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Hasan is facing numerous counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder.
Eugene Fidell, a former judge advocate who teaches military law at Yale Law School, said Hasan's behavior suggests he has no interest in actually presenting a case.
"His moment of the limelight is going to be on sentencing, and then he'll be able to give a speech," Fidell said. "That's going to be his opportunity."
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