FORT HOOD, Texas – Wearing his Army uniform and sitting solemnly in a wheelchair, the psychiatrist accused of gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood made his first courtroom appearance Tuesday and won a delay in his case.
Maj. Nidal Hasan, who was paralyzed after being shot by two Fort Hood police officers, only spoke when answering questions about the proceedings with a soft: “Yes, sir.”
His attorneys sought a delay in his Article 32 hearing because they needed more time to review reams of documents they recently received and still lacked other key documents.
The Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding in which a judge hears witness testimony to determine whether the case should go to trial, is set for Oct. 4.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the worst shooting on a U.S. military post.
Before Tuesday’s one-hour hearing, Hasan was flanked by military police as he rolled his wheelchair into the courtroom and up to the defense table.
Officials had increased security at Fort Hood on Tuesday, blocking off the road to the court building, having bomb-sniffing dogs search the parking lot and using hand-held metal detectors to screen the few people approved to be in the court.