Fort Hood Trial Delayed as Stand-By Defense Lawyers Want Out

Say defendant deliberately trying to get death penalty and don't want to be part of it


Day Two of the court martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people and wounding 30 more in a 2009 shooting spree, began with a rift between Hasan and his stand-by counsel that resulted in court being adjourned for the day early Wednesday.

Hasan previously dismissed his defense team and has chosen to represent himself, but the court ordered a group of defense attorneys led by Lt. Col. Kris Poppe to act as "stand-by" counsel to help Hasan through the procedural steps of the trial.

In a motion filed late Tuesday, Poppe and his team said they feel Hasan is trying to purposely get the death penalty and asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to not force them to be part of that effort. Poppe, addressing Osborn on Wednesday, said it became clear that Hasan is seeking the death penalty for himself after hearing the accused opening statement and cross examination of witnesses.