The former military psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting spree will be tried in a military court and could face the death penalty, the Army announced Wednesday.
Maj. Nidal Hasan, 40, faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the 2009 rampage at the Texas military base.
The decision was made by Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell, commander of the Army’s III Corps and Fort Hood, Politico reports.
The next step will be for the court to appoint a judge and set a trial date.
Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan, had argued that the Army should stop short of pursuing capital punishment, maintaining that such cases take longer to prosecute and are often more expensive, according to the Army Times.
Galligan has not yet indicated whether he will make an insanity defense on behalf of his client.
The shooting spree ranked among the worst mass shootings ever on a U.S. military base. Thirteen people were killed, and another 30 were wounded.
Before allegedly opening fire, Hasan was said to have shouted “Allahu akbar!”—or “God is great!” in Arabic. Government officials have also linked the former psychiatrist to radical cleric and terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki, with whom Hasan allegedly exchanged emails.
In a military hearing in October 2010, witnesses described a gunman who fired rapidly and indiscriminately, pausing only to reload. According to their testimony, Hasan shot and killed several people hiding under chairs during the attack, as well as two soldiers who were trying to protect military nurses.
A civilian police officer ultimately shot Hasan, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.