Maj. Nidal Hasan (Jail photo)
FORT HOOD (August 14, 2012)—Military judge Col. Gregory Gross refused Tuesday to grant another delay in the court-martial of Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan, who’s charged in the deadly November 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.
Gross decided at a pretrial hearing Tuesday morning that jury selection should begin as scheduled Monday for the court-martial.
Gross earlier delayed the trial from March to June and then to August.
Hasan's attorneys argued that they needed more time to look through 26 boxes of documents, including some of his medical records and jail logs.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at the post’s Soldier Readiness Center.
He faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.
The judge’s refusal to delay the court-martial means Hasan must plead not guilty Wednesday to the 13 counts of premeditated murder.
Military law doesn't allow guilty pleas to charges that carry the death penalty as the maximum sentence.
He has the option of pleading guilty to the attempted premeditated murder counts, but prosecutors and defense attorneys are barred from discussing the case outside court, so it's unclear how Hasan will plead to those charges.
Gross denied a defense motion to exclude the testimony of a government witness, terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann, and a defense motion to have the government produce daily transcripts of the proceedings during jury selection.
He also denied a defense request for a special instruction regarding note taking by panel members during the court martial.
Rulings are pending on defense motions involving the conduct of jury selection and a motion regarding prosecutorial misconduct.
Gross scheduled hearings at 1 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. on Friday.
Gross fined Hasan another $1,000 Tuesday for failing to shave his beard and again sequestered Hasan in a separate trailer equipped with a closed circuit TV system.
Gross has said that if Hasan doesn’t shave off the beard voluntarily before the start of the trial, that he will order the beard shaved forcibly.