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Nation/World

August 28, 2013

Fort Hood gunman won’t call witnesses, testify

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood decided not to present any evidence during his trial’s penalty phase on Tuesday even though jurors are deciding whether to sentence him to death.

Maj. Nidal Hasan rested his case without calling witnesses or testifying to counter the emotional testimony from victims’ relatives, who talked of eerily quiet homes, lost futures, alcoholism and the unmatched fear of hearing a knock on their front door.

Prosecutors hope the testimony helps convince jurors to hand down a rare military death sentence against Hasan, who was convicted last week for the 2009 attack that also wounded more than 30 people at the Texas military base.

The judge dismissed jurors after Hasan declined to put up a defense. But she then 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.”

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