FORT HOOD (January 24, 2013)—Col. Tara Osborn, the new judge presiding over the case of accused Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan, will decide next week whether to spare Hasan the death penalty by allowing him to plead guilty.
Osborn will decide whether to remove execution as a punishment option for the Army psychiatrist charged in the November 2009 rampage at the post’s Soldier Readiness Center.
Osborn has scheduled pretrial hearings for next Wednesday through Friday.
Defense attorneys say Hasan wants to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder, but Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea in a death penalty case.
Hasan also is charged with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the attack on the Texas Army post.
He currently faces execution or life in military prison without parole if convicted.
A date for his court-martial has not been set.