Fort Hood, TX (KWKT) — In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Col. Tara Osborn ruled that the "defense of others" defense fails as a matter of law. In viewing the submissions made by Hasan in a light most favorable to him, the judge decided that there was no evidence to support an immediate threat by anyone at Fort Hood to anyone in Afghanistan. Further, she ruled that as a uniformed Soldier in the U.S. Army, Hasan had no justification to kill other U.S. Soldiers. She ruled that she will not allow Hasan to present any evidence or argument relating to the defense of others.
Osborn also ruled on Hasan's complaints about the adequacy of assistance received in preparing the documents he submitted to the court. The judge ruled that the adequacy of assistance was irrelevant because no amount of legal research or argument would have resulted in a different ruling as it relates to the defense of others.
Osborn ordered all of the standby defense counsel to submit written briefs to the court outlining what they believed to be their role as standby counsel. The judge indicated she would issue a written order to standby counsel on their role in the case. The attorneys' briefs are due June 17.
Osborn allowed for the release of one of the paralegals on the defense team. The judge, however, ordered that there be a replacement for any paralegal released from the team. She also allowed for the release of Capt. Ryan Coward, military lawyer who assisted the defense counsel, so that he may separate from the Army. Coward has never appeared in court on behalf of Hasan.
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for June 18. The judge has not yet indicated what time the hearing will begin.
The accused, Hasan, is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty.