Major Hasan could face long list of charges - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Major Hasan could face long list of charges


By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The man accused of the shootings Major Nidal Hasan was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio in stable condition.     

While people across the country continue to mourn Thursday's loss, investigators work to piece together what happened. Authorities up the chain of command from Texas to Washington want to know what went wrong that led the lone suspect to allegedly open fire.

Texas Tech University Law Professor and Vice Dean Richard Rosen is an expert in military law. He practiced it for 26 years. Retired Colonel Rosen was stationed at Fort Hood for 10 years and served as a Staff Judge Advocate or Chief Counsel for the nation's largest military installation.

"It's tragic and horrible," says Ret. Colonel Rosen. He knows his former colleagues at Fort Hood are working around the clock to handle Thursday's shooting. "Legal advice is being given at all levels of command right now," adds Rosen.

"The FBI along with Criminal Investigation Division of the Army is trying to collect witness statements and physical evidence," adds Rosen about what is taking place right now.

"It will be a long charge sheet, one longer than I've ever seen in my life time in the Army," adds Rosen who says Hasan's charge sheet could include murder, aggravated assault, weapons charges and possibly other crimes.

There are many questions surrounding the events that led the soldier to turn on some of his own. Rosen says Hasan's attorneys will try to answer one of those before trial.

"I'd assume defense counsel will want to get a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether or not their client or perpetrator was mentally competent when he committed these acts," says Rosen. It could be at least a year before the details surrounding the massacre unfold inside a courtroom.

"I would think the military will handle this through Court Marshall maybe not at Fort Hood because it might be difficult to get a fair panel," adds Rosen. Instead of a jury, a panel of Officers above the rank of Major would hear the case. An officer must first determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

"I think this is different because you had an Army officer who carried out these acts and they are difficult to prevent," says Rose

If charged and convicted Hasan could face the ultimate punishment. "The military does have death sentences. It's been a long time since military executed anyone," says Rosen who recalls the last military execution in 1962.

Maj. Hasan will be appointed a military defense counsel. He may also, at his own expense, hire a civilian attorney.

Families seeking more information can call the Army hotlines at (254) 724-4376 (local) or (866) 836-2751.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Fort Hood Shooting, Victims Remembered Here at Home
The man who authorities say killed 11 people, and was at one time believed dead, is in fact, alive. Police say the suspected gunman Army Major Nadal Milik Hasan was a mental health doctor on base. 
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