Posted: Aug 22, 2013 10:19 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2013 10:20 AM
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) Military prosecutors asked jurors Thursday for a unanimous murder conviction against the soldier accused in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, insisting that evidence left "no question" that he planned and carried out the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base.
Such a verdict would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is facing numerous counts of premeditated murder for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Texas Army post.
The prosecutor, Col. Steve Henricks, repeatedly emphasized the word "premeditation," trying to dissuade the jury of even considering a conviction on a lesser charge that would take the death penalty off the table.
Henricks said Hasan asked for the highest-tech weapon available when he went to a gun store a few months before the attack and then began practicing at a gun range. Hasan also used laser sights, which Henricks said "established intent to kill."
Hasan is acting as his own attorney but has done little to defend himself during his trial. He rested his case Wednesday without calling a single witnesses or testifying in his own defense, so it wasn't clear Thursday whether he planned to give a closing argument.
However, he perked up Wednesday when talking about what he said that evidence doesn't show: that the attack he admits to carrying out was somehow impulsive.
"I would like to agree with the prosecution that it wasn't done under the heat of sudden passion," Hasan told the judge after jurors had left for the day. "There was adequate provocation that these were deploying soldiers that were going to engage in an illegal war."
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, has been unapologetic about saying the rampage was necessary to protect Muslim insurgents abroad from American soldiers preparing for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Associated Press writer Will Weissert contributed to this report from Fort Hood.
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