Ft. Hood suspect to be isolated in Texas jail
BELTON, Texas (AP) - April 9, 2010 -- The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood will be kept isolated from all other inmates at the jail where he was transferred early Friday, the local sheriff said.
Maj. Nidal Hasan was airlifted from a San Antonio military hospital to the Bell County Jail in Belton at about 4 a.m. Friday. He had been at the military hospital since shortly after the Nov. 5 shooting spree that left him paralyzed.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith said Hasan will be kept in a 12-by-15-foot cell in the jail infirmary and be under 24-hour watch. Smith did not say whether Hasan was under guard because of fears for his safety or others.
"I'm just not going to leave anything to chance," the sheriff said.
Hasan will not have contact with other inmates, even when a jailer accompanies him to the outdoor recreation area, Smith said.
Hasan's doctor visited the jail and said that it was well equipped to handle his medical needs, Smith said. If Hasan had not been charged with a crime, he would have been released from the hospital to recover at home, he said.
His cell is typical of those in the infirmary ward, with a bed, toilet, television and phone that makes collect calls, Smith said. Hasan will not have Internet access, but he can read the Quran and speak to visitors in Arabic, two things forbidden at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the sheriff said.
Fort Hood authorities - not Bell County deputies - will take Hasan to the nearby Army post for hearings and other matters, he said.
Hasan faces an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding, as early as July 1. After that, a military judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to go to trial. Prosecutors have not said whether they would seek the death penalty.
For about 15 years, the jail has housed military defendants from nearby Fort Hood, which does not have holding facilities.
However, Bell County commissioners and the military agreed last month on a special, six-month contract for Hasan's housing, which will include greater than usual security. The $207,000 contract is renewable, and Hasan is expected to be at the jail for a year, Smith said.
Hasan's attorney John Galligan said he was concerned because authorities did not notify him of the transfer in advance as promised.
fort hood, texas, national/world
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