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Recommendation is ready in Fort Hood military hearing

From Larry Shaughnessy, CNN
  • Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood shooting
  • A military hearing has been underway to determine whether he will face a court martial
  • A recommendation has been finalized on how to proceed, but details are not announced

Washington (CNN) -- The investigating officer in the case against accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan has sent his recommendation on how to proceed, according to a statement issued Tuesday.

The report will be sent to Hasan's defense team and the special court martial convening authority, according to the statement issued by the Texas Army base.

The announcement did not reveal what was recommended and a spokesman for Fort Hood had no further details.

Col. James Pohl is the investigating officer, the military equivalent to the judge, in the hearing.

Pohl will report whether the charges are supported by the evidence presented at the hearing. He will make a recommendation to Col. Morgan Lamb, the officer with authority to convene a court martial in the case, about whether to pursue a court martial. Pohl also will report whether the evidence presented included the required aggravating circumstances should the Army choose to go for the death penalty in the case.

Lamb then has three options. He can send the case to a special court martial if he believes only minor charges are warranted. Or, he can send the report to Maj. Gen. Will Grimsley, the current commander of Fort Hood, who will decide whether Hasan will face a general court martial and whether the government should pursue the death penalty. Or, Lamb can recommend all charges against Hasan be dropped.

Hasan's civilian lawyer, John Galligan, said he expects to see the recommendation on Wednesday as to whether the charges against Hasan are supported by evidence heard at the just-completed Article 32 military hearing.

Galligan, who has served for decades as a military lawyer before opening a civilian practice defending service members said there will be several parts to the recommendation.

Hasan is charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder and 32 specifications of attempted premeditated murder. He's been paralyzed since two police officers shot him during the Nov. 5th 2009 shooting.