TODAY   |  August 06, 2013

Trial of alleged Fort Hood shooter to begin

Nearly four years after 13 were killed in a Fort Hood, Tex. shooting rampage, the case is scheduled to go to trial this morning. The accused gunman, Army Major Nidal Hasan, faces the death penalty if convicted. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>>> y, the military trial of the army major accused of killing 13eople in a 2009 shooting rampage at fort hood army base i getng derway th morning. mark potter i there. he has details. od morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah the accused gunma is acting as his n attorney in this trial. he could end up css examini some of the vtims he is accused of shooting. the trial at fortood is being held in a tight secured court building surrounded by sandbags and cargo contaers stacked three high. it's not f from where the major is accus ofpening fire wi two hanuns in arowded medical processing center in noveer o 2009 . he is charged with 13 counts of preditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder . one of the witnesses against him was shot seven times and says he is anxious to confront hassan in court.

>> i will not sho fr in the face of the enemy because the man tha shome, major hassan ll be the man cross examining me. that's a huge allenge.

>> he was also stt the end of the rampage by pice was in the wheelchair and now wears a beard citing hisuslim police. he ask tolead guilty b thatasrohitebecaus prosecutors e seeking the deatnalty. he will be alled to testify on his own behalf but the judge denied his reque to arguee shot at u.s. soldiers to prent taban fighters from being killed in afghanistan.

>> ielve tha the judge made it quite car that if he starts grand stand in anyway and steps away fromhe rules of court, hisbility t represent himself will be revoked and his defense council will step in and reprent him. many of the shooting survivors are expecd to stify and are petitioning the u.s. government to classify the incident as a act of terror so they c get combatelated benefits. many are ary hassans still paid hisilitary sala. totaling about $300,000 since his rest.

>> the judge says this trial can take a month or two and if he is convicd and sentenced to death,egal eer say the appeals cod te years.