FORT HOOD -- Deliberations pick up in the court martial of Major Nidal Hasan Friday morning.
The military panel could hand down its verdict by the afternoon. Members deliberated for more than three hours on Thursday.
The case has been moving much faster than expected, mostly because Hasan has kept quiet. He never called a witness and only cross examined three of the 89 witnesses prosecutors called to the stand.
During closing arguments on Thursday, Hasan, who’s representing himself in the trial, wrapped up by saying the he had no closing argument statement to give.
Prosecutors, however, spent 91 minutes detailing the day of the shooting. They threw out every piece of evidence they could find, including the guns and ammunition Hasan bought before the shooting, his target practice and his surveying at the Soldier Readiness Center.
"They actually put on 90 minutes worth of evidence that he had planned this out really meticulously, down to paper towels stuffed in his pockets to hide the clanking of his ammunition. And it was really a kind of overwhelming display of evidence," explained Jeremy Schwartz, reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
Hasan has admitted in court that he was the gunman, but the military panel must decide if the attack was premeditated. Part of that comes down to Hasan's motive.
"The government alleged the accused had two motives for the shooting. First, that the accused did not want to deploy. If made to deploy he stated: ‘They will pay,’" said Tom Rheinlander, Director of Fort Hood public affairs. “The other motive by the prosecution was that Major Hasan came to believe he had a Jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible."
Witnesses testified that Hasan yelled the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the 2009 shooting.
For much of the trial, Hasan hasn't shown much emotion but on Thursday, during closing arguments, his interest peaked when prosecutors played FBI video from the SRC. Witnesses in the courtroom say he viewed it as if it was a trophy.
It only takes nine of the 13 Army officers on the military panel to find Hasan guilty. To hand down the death sentence, it must be a unanimous decision on at least one of the premeditated murder charges as well as at least one guilty vote on one of the other murder charges.
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