FORT HOOD, TEXAS: The soldier on trial for the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood rested his case Wednesday without calling a single witness or testifying in his defense, but he later told the judge that the attack was motived by American soldiers deploying to “engage in an illegal war.”
Maj. Nidal Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Texas military base. But when given the chance to rebut prosecutors’ lengthy case — which included nearly 90 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence — the Army psychiatrist declined.
About five minutes after court began Wednesday, a day after prosecutors rested their case, the judge asked Hasan how he wanted to proceed. He answered: “The defense rests.”
But after jurors were dismissed, Hasan told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, that the jury shouldn’t have the option of convicting him on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
“I would like to agree with the prosecution that it wasn’t done under the heat of sudden passion,” Hasan said. “There was adequate provocation — that these were deploying soldiers that were going to engage in an illegal war.”
The exchange came hours after Osborn adjourned jurors for the day. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin today.