Accused Fort Hood gunman appears in court
Maj. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. military psychiatrist charged in the shooting deaths of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
During the short appearance, Hasan's lawyer won his request to have Hasan's United States Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 32 hearing put off until Oct. 4. An Article 32 hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding. A military judge will hear from witnesses and decide if the case will go to trial.
Security was increased at the military courthouse as visitors were checked with hand-held metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs checked an adjacent parking lot.
Hasan, who faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting rampage,.
Hasan's defence attorney, John Galligan, wanted the Article 32 hearing delayed until Oct. 1 at the earliest. Galligan said he still needs some documents, including some of the accused man's military records, Federal Bureau of Investigation files on Hasan's alleged contact with a radical Islamic cleric in Yemen, and some government reviews of the shooting rampage.
Hasan is also due to have a mental evaluation after his Article 32 hearing.
Currently being held at Bell County Jail, Hasan was left paralyzed from the chest down after military police shot him during the Fort Hood shooting.
With files from The Associated Press