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Fort Hood suspect paralyzed from chest down, lawyer says

By Philip Rucker
Monday, November 23, 2009

BELTON, TEX. -- Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., is paralyzed from the chest down and doctors believe his paralysis will be permanent, Hasan's lawyer said Sunday.

"He has no sensation from the nipple area down," Hasan's civilian attorney, John P. Galligan, said in a telephone interview.

During a closed-door hearing in Hasan's hospital room on Saturday that lasted about an hour, a magistrate ruled that Hasan be confined until his military trial, Galligan said.

"In the middle of this hearing, he started to nod off and go to sleep," Galligan said. "When I've spoken with him, he's coherent, but your ability to have any meaningful exchange with him is limited in time and subject."

Hasan has been recovering from gunshot wounds at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he is in intensive care. He has been receiving letters and cards, which the government has been copying before delivering, Galligan said. Now under pre-trial confinement, Hasan faces greater restrictions on visitors and the military can transfer him to another hospital or jail, he said.

Hasan will remain in confinement until his court-martial, a date for which has not been set. He has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 massacre, but Galligan said he "fully anticipates" that military prosecutors might file additional charges.

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