(FORT HOOD, Texas) — Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage, will not be allowed to plead guilty, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Maj. Hasan’s attorneys had previously indicated that he would plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder in the case of the deadliest shooting on a U.S. military base. However, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice does not allow the court to accept a guilty plea on capital charges.
Col. Tara Osborn, the presiding judge, also denied the requests made by Hasan’s lawyers to move the court martial away from Fort Hood.
Osborn also heard arguments pertaining to an expert witness in the case and said that a decision as to what extent he may testify will be made at a later date.
Hasan had been encouraged to commit an act of jihad by al Qeada-linked radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who was later killed in a drone strike. Co-workers of Hasan reported to their superiors his increasing Islamic extremism, but no action was taken against him before his rampage.
The next hearing in the case is set for April 16.
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Samantha Beech, CNN
David Williams, CNN
Alanna Petroff, CNN
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN