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UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: After calling seven witnesses, all loved ones of those killed in 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, the prosecution rested its case against Maj. Nidal Hasan Tuesday just before noon.

Maj. Hasan waived his final chance to present a defense argument to the jury panel of thirteen U.S. Army officers at about 2:20 p.m. and declined to call any witnesses Tuesday.

Afterward, Maj. Hasan's standby attorneys asked the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, if they could present a defense on his behalf.

Maj. Hasan objected to the request, and the judge denied it.

At the beginning of August, the standby attorneys asked the judge to let them take over his defense or reduce their role, arguing he was attempting to be sentenced to death.

The jury panel will begin deliberations in the court martial Wednesday at 9 a.m. They will decide whether to send Hasan to prison for life or give him the death penalty.

Last Friday, the panel found him guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.


EARLIER: FORT HOOD Maj. Nidal Hasan is approaching his last chance to make a statement or present an argument in the sentencing phase of his trial after U.S. Army prosecutors call their final witnesses.

Lt. Col. Randy Royer, the prosecution's witness, used a cane as he walked to the stand.

He described Hasan shooting him twice once in the arm and once in the leg forever limiting his use of both.

After surviving the November 2009 shooting rampage, Royer said he's suffered anxiety and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"When I m in a large group of people I have a lot of issues," Royer explained. "One of the worst times is when I have to go to the pharmacy. They have all the chairs lined up. When I walk in there I don t do well. It reminds me of November 5."

The massacre happened in the waiting room of a medical facility on the Fort Hood post.

Jerri Krueger, said her daughter, Sgt. Amy Krueger, joined the Army after watching the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

I said, 'You can t take on bin Laden all by yourself,'" Krueger testified. "She said, 'Watch me.'"

After learning of the mass shooting on post, the soldier s mother said, I had a very bad feeling.

"At 2 a.m., I heard a tap at the door," Krueger said. "It was the lightest tap but I heard it. I saw the two soldiers standing there and I knew she was gone."

Michael Cahill was the only civilian killed by Hasan during the shooting. Witnesses said he charged the confessed mass murderer as he changed magazines.

His widow, Joleen Cahill, said she became worried when her husband didn't answer his phone during the hours after the shooting.

Cahill testified that at 11:15 p.m. the night of the shooting, two soldiers arrived at her home about 60 miles away from the post.

"I tried to deny it to them and said, 'The news said it was all soldiers; Mike was a civilian,'" she said.

I went numb and I just don t remember very much," Cahill continued. "I remember saying I need to go to the hospital because of my asthma. A lot of that night is blank."

Cahill said she's left her husband s room unchanged inside their home and still has his mobile phone connected so family members can hear his voice.

"The shooting and his killing are not going to destroy my life and his children s," she added. "[Hasan] is not going to win. I am in control."

Sheryll Pearson cried when prosecutors presented her with a graduation picture of her son, Pfc. Michael Pearson.

It was a hug I ll remember the rest of my life, she said. We were best friends.

Pearson said she watched the news in a worried state after learning of the shooting.

I was on my way home and the cellphone rang and I don t remember who it was," she said. "It was either his sergeant or his CO [commanding officer], and they told me Michael had been shot three times twice in his chest and once in his back."

Her son lost a lot of blood, she continued, but there was a team of eight doctors trying to save his life.

I was watching TV and all of a sudden the number of dead went from 12 to 13 and I knew Mike was gone," Pearson added as her voice cracked.

Mikey was always moving forward in his life," she said. "We always wanted to see who he was going to become."

Philip Warman said the murder of his wife, Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, spiraled him towards addiction.

It was like something had been ripped out of me, he explained.

Warman, who's now sober, said he started drinking and even had a friend remove the weapons from his home.

I don t tend to be suicidal but I didn t trust myself, he admitted.

Some legal experts say they believe Hasan might give an unsworn statement as early as today. Such a statement would not be subject to cross examination and could be read without interruption, but would carry less weight with the panel of jurors.

If Hasan refuses to make a statement or present an argument like he did during trial the jury panel of thirteen U.S. Army officers could begin deliberating his punishment as early as today. Last Friday, the panel found him guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

The panel will now decide whether to send Hasan to prison for life or give him the death penalty.

Despite the conviction, Hasan does not lose his rank of major until he's dismissed from the service.

"A sentence of death includes dismissal, said Rick Rosen, a law professor at Texas Tech. "Even if Hasan receives life imprisonment, I am certain the court martial will dismiss him from the Army. The question is when does it become effective? As a general rule, a dismissal becomes effective only after the completion of appellate review of the case, which could take years."

Rosen said the commanding general of human resources command could allow an exception to this policy. Hasan will forfeit his pay and allowances two weeks after the sentence is announced.

Email jwhitely@wfaa.com

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