Ft. Hood trial moving at a quick pace

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 on Monday in between witnesses to finish their notes.

Major 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.

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The rapid pace raises the possibility that prosecutors may wrap up far sooner than the months-long 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.

‘‘Just look up when you’re ready. Take as much time as you need,’’ the judge, Colonel Tara Osborn, said.

So far, witnesses have built a gory, detailed picture about what happened the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2009. They have 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.

Associated Press