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Fort Hood trial cost government about $5 million

Oct. 7, 2013 - 09:41AM   |  
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FORT WORTH, TEXAS — The U.S. government spent nearly $5 million to court-martial and convict an Army psychiatrist in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage, according to records reviewed by a North Texas television station.

The biggest pre-trial expense in Maj. Nidal Hasan's trial was more than $1 million for transportation for witnesses, jurors and attorneys, according to Army records obtained by KXAS-TV of Fort Worth and Dallas. About $90,000 was spent to house the witnesses.

Hasan was convicted in August of killing 13 people during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting. More than 30 people were wounded.

The records also show that in the months before his trial, Army helicopters ferried Hasan 40 miles from the Bell County Jail to Fort Hood at a cost of more than $194,000 so he could work on his defense in his private office. More than $200,000 was spent on trailers, apparently including the one that housed the private office.

In the past, Army officials have said the helicopter rides were needed to protect Hasan and his team from threats.

Hasan was not allowed to plead guilty to the charges under a military law regarding cases that could bring the death penalty. So, he served as his own defense attorney, called no witnesses and asked few questions.

The records show that another $1 million was spent in expert witness fees.

Hasan remained on the Army payroll until 10 days after his conviction, collecting nearly $300,000. Most was donated to charity, Hasan's civil attorney, John Galligan, has told The Associated Press.

The expenditures have outraged many of Hasan's victims and their relatives. Some victims have struggled to find jobs or pay medical bills since Hasan opened fire inside a crowded building on the Central Texas military base.

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