Major Hasan trial begins for Fort Hood shooting, victim Alonzo Lunsford okay with ‘eye for an eye’
The U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood massacre is known to have traded emails with a former al Qaeda leader. On Tuesday, Maj. Nidal Hasan goes on trial in military court for 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the 2009 attack.
Hasan is acting as his own lawyer, which means he can question witnesses, including the victims.
Hasan told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, that he plans to call two witnesses during the court-martial.
Prosecutors hope to show that the devout Muslim had undergone a “progressive radicalization,” giving presentations in defense of suicide bombings and about soldiers conflicted between military service and their religion when such conflicts result in crime.
The shooting left Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford blind in his left eye and struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. Now he faces what could be his biggest challenge of all: a possible cross-examination by the man charged with shooting him seven times.
“No matter what type of smirk or what time of smart comment that he comes out with, I stay on point, on topic, straight to the point,” Lunsford says, adding the questioning is going to be “extremely hard.”
“It’s going to be very difficult,” he says. “Because inside me, I want him to physically feel what it feels like to have his life in my hands.”
“He had the same look on his face that day that he had on his face the day that he shot us — a cold malice person,” Lunsford says. “So I locked eyes with him to show that I fear no man.”
Asked if he fears Hasan, Lunsford says, “No. The question should be asked does he fear me?”
Lunsford says he thinks Hasan does. “He should,” he adds. “In a perfect world,” Lunsford says, justice means “an eye for an eye.”
“Let it be judged by Islamic law, where death would be by stoning,” he says. “And if that’s the case, then let each one of us have a chance to give it that all-American pitch. That’s what we need to make sure that justice is served.”
It would be pretty harsh justice, Lunsford acknowledges.
“Just as harsh as killing a person in cold blood,” he says.
The prosecution plans to call some 300 witnesses in this case. If Hasan is convicted, he could face the death penalty.