Rick Jervis, USA TODAY
FORT HOOD, Texas - Maj. Nidal Hasan, the radicalized Army psychiatrist accused of launching a shooting spree at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009, sat passively Thursday as witnesses described in vivid, emotional detail over the carnage that occurred that day.
"I see bodies, bodies everywhere," Sgt. Maria Guerra, hoking back tears. "I see blood. And no one is moving."
Hasan, 42, faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder. If convicted, he could he the first person the military puts to death in five decades. Hasan has chosen to represent himself, giving him the rarefied chance of interacting with witness, including some of the soldiers he shot.
In his first interaction with a witness to the shootings, Hasan objected midway through the testimony of Guerra, who was supervisor of the building where the shootings occur. "Could you remind Sergeant First Class Guerra she's under oath?" Hasan told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn.
Osborn paused for a moment, then turned to Guerra and reminded her she was under oath.
Guerra continued describing how Hasan stalked through the building, methodically shooting at one soldier after another, dropping spent magazines and popping in new ones with military efficiency.
"He was firing at soldiers running out the front door, he was firing at soldiers running out the back door," Guerra said. "He was firing at anyone moving."
Earlier Thursday, Osborn denied a motion by Hasan's court-appointed lawyers to scale back their responsibility in helping the accused. Osborn ruled that Hasan could continue to represent himself after the defense team filed a motion asking to have reduced responsibility in the case, citing Hasan's perceived intention to receive a death sentence.
Following Osborn's ruling, Guerra and other witnesses to the slayings recreated the blood-soaked scene inside the base's Soldier Readiness Preparedness Center complex.
Sgt. Alan Carroll testified he was waiting for medical clearance with a few buddies from his company, talking about upcoming weekend plans and their pending deployment to Afghanistan, when shots rang out. Carroll was shot in the back, dove to the floor and tried pulling his friend, 19-year-old Private Aaron Nemelka, to safety. Nemelka sat up and was shot in the neck, he said. Carroll prepared to make a run for the door when the gunman came around to his side of the room.
Carroll was shot four timesl: in the left shoulder, left lower back, left thigh and right bicep, he said. Three friends - Nemelka, Private Michael Pearson, 22, and 29-year-old Specialist Frederick Greene were killed.
When asked to identify the shooter, Carroll pointed to Hasan, sitting a few feet away.
Everything about the case so far - from having a commissioned officer accused of murder to the scale of killing and the volume of evidence against the accused - makes it an historically unique case, said Geoffrey Corn, a former Army judge advocate who teaches military and national security law at South Texas College of Law in Houston.
"The case is unprecedented on so many levels," Corn said. "It's totally unique in the annals of criminal military justice."
The case has been besieged with delays, ranging from Hasan -- an American-born Muslim -- refusing to shave his beard in accordance with military code to a previous judge being removed for perceived bias against the defendant. Both sides presented opening statements Tuesday, and some witnesses testified in a courtroom protected with tight military security.
Tuesday, Hasan's one-minute opening statement included an unexpected admission of guilt and a sworn allegiance to the mujahideen, or holy warriors.