Major Nidal Hasan
A military judge says the US Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage cannot plead guilty to any charges in the 2009 attack.
Major Nidal Hasan had wanted to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder, but Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to charges carrying the death penalty.
Hasan’s attorneys had also asked the judge, Colonel Tara Osborn, to let Hasan plead guilty to lesser charges of unpremeditated murder.
His May trial would have proceeded and still carried a possible death penalty if the judge had allowed that plea.
Hasan faces execution or life without parole if convicted in a military court martial set to begin May 29.
Testimony will begin July 1 after what is expected to be a month of jury selection.
The judge said she expects testimony to take up to three months. The US government has said it will call nearly 300 witnesses.
In addition to the murder counts, Hasan faces 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder in the attack on the Texas Army post.
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