US army shooter sentenced to death

Houston, Aug 29 (IANS) A US military court sentenced to death the Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 people and injured more than 30 at a Texas army base in 2009, media reports said.

The same jury, which convicted US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan last Friday, reached the unanimous verdict to put Hasan on death row after several hours of deliberations Wednesday, Xinhua reported citing the Houston Chronicle.

The 42-year-old America-born Muslim, who has been acting as his own attorney, presented no witness or evidence during the sentencing phase of his trial which began Monday. He also declined to give a closing argument Wednesday.

When the verdict was read hours later, he had no visible reaction, merely staring at the jurors and the judge, the report said.

Hasan was found guilty on 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder, crimes he carried out in a crowded waiting room in the Fort Hood base against unarmed fellow soldiers.

The shooting is the severest of its kind in the history of US military. Hasan said the motive of his killing was to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from America who "is at war with Islam".

Hasan never denied he was the shooter during the trial and appeared to crave for a death sentence that he alleged could make him "a martyr" for his religion.

US officials said Hasan would be taken back to a county jail and then transported on the first available military flight to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

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