TODAY   |  August 08, 2013

Defense: Fort Hood shooter seeks death penalty

The trial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is scheduled to resume this morning at Fort Hood, Texas, after a brief recess. The defense team said that Hasan is trying to seek the death penalty. Acting as his own attorney, Hasan has chosen to not cross-examine major witnesses. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>>> the mass murder trial of army major nidal hassan is scheduled to resume at ft. hood, texas , it was delayed a day after he's trying to seek the death penalty . mark potter is in killeen, texas , with the latest. good morning, mark.

>> reporter: good morning, natalie. this boils down to a big disagreement for tactics between the defendant, major hasan and the army defense team assigned to help him. although major nidal hasan is acting as his own attorney, he has a stand by team of military lawyers. they're trained in defending death penalty cases. on wednesday, a member of the team believes hasan is trying to get the death penalty and they should not be required to take part. the attorney said, working in concert with the prosecution to achieve the death sentence is something we cannot do.

>> they say their role as defending their client and they believe that their client is going down the wrong path. the one that inevitably leads to a death sentence .

>> hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder . the rampage shooting at ft. hood nearly four years ago and could face life in prison or a death sentence if convicted. the defense attorneys filed a motion expressing their concerns after hasan admitted in his opening statement that he was the shooter and had switched sides to defend islam. hasan has also chosen so far not to cross-examine major witnesses in his trial. after hasan said that the defense attorneys' claims were inaccurate, the judge said they should discuss it further in private and recess the court until this morning when perhaps we'll get a ruling. natalie?

>> mark potter in killeen, texas , for us. thank you.