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Accused Fort Hood shooter refuses psychiatric evaluation

From Larry Shaughnessy and Charley Keyes, CNN
Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people during a shooting spree last year in Fort Hood, Texas.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people during a shooting spree last year in Fort Hood, Texas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lawyer: Psychiatrists showed up to perform sanity review of Maj. Nidal Hasan
  • Hasan's attorney says he filled out a form saying he and his client would not cooperate
  • Attorney objects to the timing of review, composition of the military's "sanity board"

(CNN) -- The former Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, refused to participate in a psychiatric evaluation of himself Thursday, his attorney said.

Three military psychiatrists showed up Thursday at the Texas jail where Maj. Nidal Hasan is incarcerated to conduct a sanity review, but his lawyer, John Galligan, said that he filled out a form saying he and his client would not cooperate.

The psychiatrists left without conducting the review, said Galligan, who objects to the timing of the evaluation and to the composition of the military's "sanity board."

A Fort Hood spokesman, Tyler Broadway, said that the psychiatric evaluation is ongoing despite Thursday's developments.

The officer overseeing the criminal case against Hasan is asking for a sanity review for the defendant "without further delay," according to a memo CNN obtained this week.

Video: What happened at Fort Hood?
RELATED TOPICS
  • Nidal Malik Hasan
  • Fort Hood
  • Texas
  • Shootings

The request came a week before Hasan's Article 32 hearing next Tuesday, a key pretrial procedure in which the first public testimony will be given in the case. Hasan is charged with 13 counts of murder in connection with the November 5 shooting at the Army's largest base, which is in central Texas between Dallas and San Antonio.

Galligan, a civilian attorney, has said he has instructed his client not to talk to anyone connected with the sanity review and called the sudden push for the examination part of an Army attempt to "distract" Hasan as he prepares for the upcoming hearing.

Col. Morgan Lamb, the officer overseeing the case, had indicated in January that the military would not "meet with, test or examine" Hasan until after the Article 32 hearing.

But in the memo obtained by CNN, Lamb said he reversed his decision after the defense said in court last month that it may introduce mental capacity evidence for consideration in the case -- after previously saying it would not raise the issue of mental capacity or competency.

Galligan denied the defense had made such a statement. He said he also objects to the military mental health professionals who make up the "sanity board" and would be charged with evaluating Hasan. The attorney said the current members of the board may not be objective, noting that one was on the faculty of the medical school while Hasan was a student there.

A representative for Lamb at Fort Hood said the matter is up to the colonel, and the defense had no say in the decision to have the board examine Hasan.

Broadway, the Fort Hood spokesman, said Thursday that Lamb had ordered the evaluation to proceed without delay but "there was never any requirement" that the psychiatric evaluation be completed by Tuesday in Lamb's order.

The Article 32 hearing is named after the section of military law that mandates it. It's similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding but is open to the public, and both the defense and prosecution can present witnesses and evidence.

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