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Defense in Fort Hood shooting case expects to learn decision Wednesday

From Larry Shaughnessy, CNN
Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of the November 5, 2009, shootings, in which 13 people were killed.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused of the November 5, 2009, shootings, in which 13 people were killed.
  • Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood shooting
  • A military hearing has been under way 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 lawyer for accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan says he expects to learn the investigating officer's recommendation on how to proceed in the case on Wednesday.

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

Hasan is charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder and 32 specifications of attempted premeditated murder. He has been paralyzed since two police officers shot him during the November 5, 2009 shooting.

An Article 32 hearing is the military's version of a grand jury or preliminary hearing.

Col. James Pohl, the investigating officer, is the military's equivalent to the judge in Hasan's Article 32 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 pursue 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.

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.