Fort Hood suspect will remain confined until trial

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Army psychiatrist charged in one of the worst mass shootings on a U.S. military base will be confined until his military trial, initially staying in a hospital where he is recovering from gunshot wounds, his attorney said Saturday.

During a hearing at Maj. Nidal Hasan's hospital room in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, a magistrate ruled that there was probable cause that Hasan committed the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood, said his civilian attorney, John Galligan. Hasan has been at Brooke Army Medical Center since the shooting that killed 13 and wounded 42 others.

In a telephone interview, Galligan said the judge also ordered Hasan to pretrial confinement, which usually means jail, until his court-martial. The military justice system does not have bail for defendants.

The magistrate ruled that Hasan will initially remain in the hospital, where he is in intensive care, Galligan said.

Saturday's hearing was closed to the media. Officials at Fort Hood, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Worth, declined to comment.

Galligan said Hasan has no feeling from the chest down and has limited movement in his arms. Hasan has been told his paralysis is permanent, his attorney said.

Hasan was shot by civilian members of Fort Hood's police force after the shooting rampage in a crowded building where soldiers must go before they are deployed to finalize their wills, update their vaccinations and get vision and dental screenings.

Hasan has been under guard at the hospital, Galligan said, and military officials have not told him how the pretrial confinement status will change anything.

"I don't know what rights and privileges he had that will now be changed, such as visitors or if they'll open his mail," Galligan said. "There are still many issues that haven't been addressed."

Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities have not said whether they will seek the death penalty, his attorney said.

Galligan said he is concerned about where Hasan will be moved once he's released from the hospital, but he does not know when that will happen.

Fort Hood suspect will remain confined until trial 11/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 21, 2009 10:49pm]

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