Nidal Hasan has been convicted of killing 13 people in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, but media reports on the conviction are ignoring the fact that 14 people died that day — including an unborn child.
As AP reports:
MORE: Maj. Nidal Hasan convicted in Fort Hood shootings that killed 13, wounded more than 30: https://t.co/ggQv4kolOR -SS
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 23, 2013
The Army psychiatrist acknowledged carrying out the attack in a crowded waiting room where unarmed troops were making final preparations to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.
Because Hasan never denied his actions, the court-martial was always less about a conviction than it was about ensuring he received the death penalty. From the beginning of the case, the federal government has sought to execute Hasan, believing that any sentence short of a lethal injection would deprive the military and the families of the dead of the justice they have sought for nearly four years.
A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict in about seven hours. Hasan had no visible reaction as the verdict was read. In the next phase of the trial, they must all agree to give Hasan the death penalty before he can be sent to the military’s death row, which has just five other prisoners. If they do not agree, the 42-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison.
AP acknowledges that the baby died, but fails to include the unborn child’s life in its tally of the number of people killed that day.
All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby’s life.
Hasan, an active duty Army major and psychiatrist, walked into a room at Fort Hood, Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and shot thirty people, killing fourteen. One of his victims, Francheska Velez, was pregnant at the time.
She cried out “My baby! My baby!” but Hasan killed her and her unborn child anyway.