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US Paid Fort Hood Suspect $278K Since Shooting

Army says it has to under Military Code of Justice
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2013 12:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Accused Fort Hood Major shooter Nidal Hasan has collected $278,000 in salary from the military in the years since the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting that took 13 lives. The Defense Department confirms the payments to NBC Dallas/Fort Worth, and explains that it's powerless to stop them: The Military Code of Justice requires Hasan receive his salary; only a guilt verdict can stop that. NBC contrasts that with the case of now-retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett, who was hit three times in the shooting and has since been fighting the Army for money.

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The Army labeled the shooting an incident of "workplace violence," and that has big implications: Because it's not using the label "terrorist attack" or describing wounds as "combat related," NBC explains that Burnett and others wounded that day don't receive the same pay and Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits as those injured in combat or in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. (Interesting side note: NBC reports that Hasan initially couldn't find a bank willing to deposit his paychecks; that's no longer the case, though.) The trial is slated to begin this summer. Click for more on Burnett's story. (Read more Nidal Malik Hasan stories.)

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