Fort Hood Suspect Will Represent Himself

Judge tried to discourage Nidal Hasan, but ruled him competent

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 3, 2013 1:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage will represent himself at his upcoming murder trial, meaning he will question the more than two dozen soldiers he's accused of wounding, a military judge ruled today. Maj. Nidal Hasan's attorneys will remain on the case but only if he asks for their help, the judge said after ruling that Hasan was mentally competent to represent himself and understands "the disadvantage of self-representation."

She repeatedly urged him to reconsider his request, noting that the lead prosecutor has more than 20 years of experience and that Hasan will be held to the same standards as all attorneys regarding courtroom rules and military law. "You've made that quite clear," Hasan said after the judge asked if he understood that representing himself was not "a good idea." Hasan asked the judge to kick one of his attorneys off the case completely, but she instead said that two of his lawyers would sit at his defense table while the third sits in the courtroom. All will assist him if he asks. Jury selection is set to start Wednesday.

This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan.
This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Nidal Hasan.   (Uncredited)
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