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Fort Hood suspect charged with attempted murder

Wed., Dec. 2, 2009, 12:34 p.m.

FORT WORTH, Texas — An Army psychiatrist was charged Wednesday with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the deadly mass shooting at Fort Hood that also injured more than two dozen soldiers and two civilian police officers, military officials said.

Maj. Nidal Hasan already is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder after the Nov. 5 shooting in a building at the Texas base where soldiers must go before being deployed. Witnesses said he jumped on a desk and shouted the words “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” Army officials say he was armed with two pistols, one a semiautomatic capable of firing up to 20 rounds without reloading.

The additional charges come less than 24 hours after Hasan’s civilian attorney was notified that the Army planned to evaluate Hasan to test his competency to stand trial as well as his mental state at the time of the shooting.

John Galligan, Hasan’s attorney, said Wednesday that Army officials had not returned his calls so he did not know when or where the “mental responsibility” exam would take place. But Galligan said he filed an objection to the evaluation, saying Hasan was still in intensive care at a San Antonio military hospital recovering from gunshot wounds that left him paralyzed.

“I’m incensed at the way the military is handling this, serving additional charges on my client when he’s in the hospital and defense attorneys are not present,” Galligan said by phone from his office near Fort Hood, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Worth. “And nobody will tell me what the plans are for the evaluation.”



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