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Fort Hood shootings court martial suspended for day

Aug. 7, 2013 at 2:01 PM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A U.S. military judge suspended the court martial of the accused Fort Hood shooter Wednesday after a lawyer said he appears to be seeking a death sentence.

The proceedings against Maj. Nidal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist, were adjourned until Thursday, CBS News reported. The trial is being held at Fort Hood in Texas, where Hasan admitted in opening statements he went on a shooting spree that left 13 people dead.

Hasan is representing himself.

Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, a member of the advisory legal team, filed a motion late Tuesday, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported. Poppe said Hasan's behavior during jury selection and his admission in his opening statement that he was the shooter show he wants to "remove impediments and obstacles to the death penalty."

Poppe Wednesday described Hasan's strategy as "repugnant and said he and the other lawyers, Lt. Col. Christopher Martin and Maj. Joseph Marcee, "do not want to be forced to help him get to the death penalty," CBS News reported.

Hasan said Poppe's statement was "inaccurate" and asked for a chance to offer clarification. The judge said that would be done in chambers.

Proceedings are expected to resume Thursday.

The U.S. military has not held an execution since 1961 although several soldiers are on death row.

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