VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
SOLDIER GUILTY OF MURDER FOR FORT HOOD SHOOTINGS
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A military jury on Friday convicted Maj. Nidal Hasan in the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, returning a unanimous verdict that makes the Army psychiatrist eligible for the death penalty in the shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own.
There was never any doubt that Hasan was the gunman. He acknowledged to the jury that he was the one who pulled the trigger on fellow soldiers as they prepared to deploy overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan. And he barely defended himself during a three-week trial.
The unanimous decision on all 13 counts of premeditated murder made Hasan eligible for execution in the sentencing phase that begins Monday.
Hasan, who said he acted to protect Muslim insurgents abroad from American aggression, did not react to the verdict, looking straight at jurors as they announced their findings. After the hearing, relatives of the dead and wounded fought back tears. Some smiled and warmly patted each other's shoulders as they left court.
Because Hasan never denied his actions, the court-martial was always less about a conviction than it was about ensuring he received a death sentence. From the beginning, the federal government has sought to execute Hasan, believing that any sentence short of a lethal injection would deprive the military and the families of the dead of the justice they have sought for nearly four years.
VILLAGERS UNSATISFIED BY LIFE SENTENCE FOR BALES
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole - the most severe sentence possible, but one that left surviving victims and relatives of the dead deeply unsatisfied.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, who pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty, showed no emotion as the verdict was announced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.
Bales' mother, sitting in the front row of the court, bowed her head, rocked in her seat, and wept as the sentence was read.
As the verdict was announced, an interpreter flashed a thumbs-up sign to a row of Afghan villagers who were either wounded or lost family members in the March 11, 2012, attacks.
"I saw his mother trying to cry, but at least she can go visit him," Hajji Mohammad Naim, who was shot in the neck, said after the sentencing. "What about us? Our family members are actually 6 feet under."
The villagers, who traveled nearly 7,000 miles to testify against Bales, spoke with reporters and asked through a translator what it would be like for someone to break into American homes and slaughter their families.
"We wanted this murderer to be executed, but we didn't get our wish," said Hajji Mohammad Wazir, who lost 11 family members, including his wife, mother and six of his seven children.
RANDOM ATTACK IN SPOKANE LEAVES WWII VETERAN DEAD
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Police in Spokane, Wash., have arrested one of two teens suspected of fatally beating an 88-year-old veteran of World War II who had survived the battle for Okinawa.
Police contend that two 16-year-old boys approached Delbert Belton in his car at random Wednesday night outside an Eagles Lodge as he was waiting for a friend.
Belton was found by police with serious head injuries and died in the hospital Thursday.
Belton's death has struck a chord nationally and sparked outrage on social media.
"He fought for this country," said Belton's sister, Alberta Tosh, on Friday. "Then he comes home and a couple of creeps kill him in the worst way."
Police Chief Frank Straub said there was no information that the attack was motivated by anything other than robbery. Police were offering no details about the crime itself, including what was taken, if anything.
"I don't really care what their motive was," Straub added. "We are not going to tolerate this." Such random attacks are rare in Spokane, a city of 210,000 people in eastern Washington, Straub said.
Police say the arrested teen was being held on charges of robbery and first degree murder.
Straub identified the suspect still at large as 16-year-old Kenan D. Adams-Kinard. Even though he is a juvenile, his name and photo were released because he remains a danger to the community, Straub said. The Associated Press doesn't usually name juvenile suspects, but is identifying the teen because of the manhunt
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