Fort Hood trial moves at rapid pace

By Nomaan Merchant and Paul J. Weber
Associated Press

FORT HOOD, Texas —

Testimony has been mov­ing so quickly during the military trial of the sol­dier accused in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting ram­page that the judge decid­ed to give jurors extra time between witnesses on Monday to finish their notes.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is acting as his own attor­ney during the trial at the Texas military base, where he is accused of killing 13 people and in­juring more than 30 oth­ers in November 2009. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

But he has mostly sat silent during the trial, en­abling prosecutors to call more than 60 witnesses in just four days.

Witness after witness — many of them soldiers shot during the attack — described how Hasan opened fire inside a Fort Hood building, leaving it scattered with blood and the dead. Yet Hasan has questioned just two witnesses and raised only a few brief objec­tions, and many wit­nesses were on the stand for 20 minutes or less.

The rapid pace raises the possibility that pros­ecutors may wrap up far sooner than the months­long timeline the judge initially said was possi­ble for the trial.

On Monday, she started taking brief breaks so jurors could finish their notes after each witness.

So far, witnesses have built a gory, de­tailed picture about what happened the af­ternoon of Nov. 5, 2009. They’ve said a gunman shouted “Allahu Ak­bar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” — and opened fire on unarmed sol­diers, many of whom were getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan.

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