A military jury on Friday convicted Army Maj. Nidal Hasan of 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, making it possible for the death penalty to be considered as a punishment.
The jurors deliberated less than seven hours over two days before finding Hasan guilty on all charges in connection with the November 5, 2009, shootings at a deployment process center.
The Army psychiatrist admitted to targeting soldiers he was set to deploy with to Afghanistan, saying previously he wanted to protect the Taliban and its leaders from the U.S. military.
Under the rules of a military court-martial, the jury must return a unanimous verdict of premeditated murder for the death penalty to be considered as a punishment option. The jury is not required to tell the court whether they reached a unanimous verdict on the attempted murder charges.
The court-martial moves on Monday to the penalty phase, where Hasan -- acting as his own attorney -- will have the opportunity to address the jurors considering whether he should be executed for his actions.
As has been done nearly every day in the three-week court-martial, the judge asked Hasan if he had reconsidered defending himself as the case enters the penalty phase.
Jurors "will decide whether you live or die," the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, told Hasan after reconvening the court Monday afternoon as part of the penalty phase preparation. "...I think it is unwise for you to represent yourself."
Hasan told the judge he intended to continue acting as his own attorney.
Inside the courtroom, the judge warned the audience in the gallery, including family members of those killed, before the verdict was announced that outbursts and reactions to the verdict would not be tolerated.
Hasan stroked his beard as the jury -- a military panel of 13 senior officers -- filed into the courtroom. He then looked at the head of the jury -- a colonel -- who affirmed a verdict had been reached.
Hasan showed no emotion as the verdict was read, a contrast to a handful of some of family members who cried or gave one another brief hugs.
"Today's guilty verdict, rendered almost four years after the attack, is only a first, small step down the path of justice for the victims," said attorney Neal M. Sher, who represents victims and families of those killed in a compensation claim against the government for failing to stop the attack.
Almost immediately after the attacks, there were widespread questions about how Hasan was evaluated, promoted and transferred to Fort Hood with plans to deploy to Afghanistan despite questions about his actions, including giving an academic presentation on the value of suicide bombings.
Sher renewed the call for the government to reclassify the shootings as a "terror attack" rather than workplace violence.
"Justice for the victims of Fort Hood will be done only when the government admits its mistakes, keeps its promises to 'make the victims whole' and comes clean about Fort Hood, " Sher said. " The victims, and the American people, are owed nothing less."
The husband of Amber Bahr Gadlin, a former private who testified about the wounds she received during the attack, said the death penalty "would be too lenient" for Hasan.
"I would much rather see him sit in prison for the rest of his life. He shouldn't be allowed to dictate what happens. He wants to motivate other terrorists," Joshua Gadlin told CNN by telephone.
Hasan doesn't call witnesses, give closing argument
On Thursday afternoon, the judge handed the case to the jury after Hasan declined to make a statement during closing arguments that followed 12 days of testimony.
The prosecution urged the jury to convict, saying the evidence showed that he believed he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible.
"There is no doubt, as I said in the beginning, the accused is the shooter," the prosecutor, Col. Steven Henricks, told the jury.
"The only question for you is ... is this a premeditated design to kill?"
For more than 90 minutes, the prosecutor took the jury methodically through the evidence in the case, meticulously piecing together how he says Hasan prepared and planned for the attack.
Prosecutors have maintained that the American-born Muslim underwent a progressive radicalization that led to the massacre at the sprawling central Texas base.