orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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March 20, 2013

Judge won't let Fort Hood suspect plead guilty

FORT HOOD, Texas — A military judge says an Army psychiatrist cannot plead guilty to any charges in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Maj. Nidal Hasan wanted to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder. But Army rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to charges carrying the death penalty.

Hasan's attorneys still had asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to let Hasan plead guilty to lesser charges of unpremeditated murder. He still would have gone to trial in May and faced a possible death sentence if the judge had allowed the plea.

But Osborn said Wednesday that Hasan will not be allowed to plead guilty even to the lesser charges.

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