Fort Hood trial cost government $5 million

To court-martial and convict former Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hassan cost the US government nearly $5 million. The biggest pre-trial expense was transportation. 

Brigitte Woosley/AP
In this courtroom sketch, Maj. Nidal Hasan appears for the sentencing phase of his trial at the Lawrence William Judicial Center Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Fort Hood, Texas. A military jury sentenced Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, handing the Army psychiatrist the ultimate punishment after a trial in which he seemed to be courting martyrdom by making almost no effort to defend himself.

The US 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 $900,000 was spent on their accommodations.

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 — one of the trailers the Army set up for the trial at a cost of more than $200,000.

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.

More than $1 million was spent on transportation for witnesses, jurors and lawyers, with another $1 million put toward expert witness fees and $90,000 on lodging for them all, the records show.

Hasan also 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.

Information from: KXAS-TV, http://www.nbcdfw.com

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