FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The standby attorney for the soldier charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage accused Maj. Nidal Hasan on Wednesday of deliberately charting a course toward a conviction and death sentence, abruptly halting the trial after only one day.
Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, Hasan’s lead court-appointed standby attorney, said he is willing to step in and be Hasan’s defense lawyer. But he asked that his responsibilities as co-counsel be minimized if Hasan, who is representing himself at trial, continues to work toward being executed.
It is “clear his goal is to remove impediments or obstacles to the death penalty and is working toward a death penalty,” Poppe told the judge overseeing the case at the Texas military base.
Hasan responded: “I object. That’s a twist of the facts.”
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, then cleared the courtroom.
Hasan has chosen to act as his own attorney during the military trial at Fort Hood, though he has defense attorneys on standby if he needs them.
On Tuesday, he told jurors during a less than 2-minute opening statement that the evidence would “clearly show” he was the shooter, but that it would “only show one side.” He also questioned only two of the first dozen witnesses, who included one soldier who was shot seven times during the November 2009 attack on the sprawling Army post.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. If convicted, he would face the death penalty.
Poppe said Hasan was acting as his own attorney in a way that, “we believe is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations.”
Hasan repeatedly asked the judge to allow him to explain why Poppe’s claim was wrong, saying: “Your honor, Col. Poppe has made an assertion that is inaccurate. I’d like to clarify that.”
Osborn paused for nearly half minute before asking that Hasan explain his argument in writing. He said he wouldn’t do that.
Osborn then closed the courtroom to discuss the matter. No witnesses were called Wednesday.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim who was paralyzed after being shot by officers responding to the attack, said he was as a soldier who switched sides in what he described as a war between America and his Islamic faith. He then fell silent for most of the day.
Hasan wanted to plead guilty to murder and attempted murder, but military rules forbid guilty pleas in death penalty cases.
Hasan had also asked to argue that he carried out the shooting in “defense of others,” namely members of the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan, but the judge denied that strategy. His defense strategy still remains unclear.
During Tuesday’s testimony, he occasionally took notes on a legal pad. While two defense attorneys remained on stand-by, Hasan rarely turned to them for advice.
No American soldier has been executed since 1961, and military prosecutors showed that they would take no chance of fumbling details that could jeopardize any conviction down the line.
The long-delayed trial was years in the making after judges in the case had granted a series of delays. A fight over Hasan’s beard, which violates military regulations, led to a stay shortly before his trial was expected to begin last year and eventual replacement of the judge.
The trial is playing out amid high security at Fort Hood, where armed guards stood in doorways and 15-foot stacks of shock-absorbing barriers obscured the view of the courthouse. Jurors were told to prepare for a trial that could take months, and Hasan, who is in a wheelchair, needs regular breaks.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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