Monday, October 11, 2010

Fort Hood suspect's lawyer used to abuse

The lawyer for the mass killing suspect at Fort Hood, Texas, isn't a stranger to controversy, other lawyers say.

John Galligan is the attorney for Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood Nov. 5 in the worst non-combat mass killing at a U.S. military installation. Galligan begins his defense of Hasan Tuesday with an Article 32 pretrial hearing to determine whether Hasan should face a court-martial and potentially the death penalty, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman said.

The newspaper said Galligan has gotten used to abuse left on his answering machine and e-mail.

Even before the Hasan case, Galligan has a controversial figure in Bell County, Texas, the report said.

"He's not afraid -- that's for sure -- about what other people might think about him," Temple defense attorney David Fernandez told the newspaper. "Especially in Bell County, a lot of lawyers would not have taken that case."

A Belton criminal defense lawyer, Jeff Parker, said Galligan has made a habit of challenging authority.

"He likes to poke the lion with a stick," Parker told the American-Statesman. "He's fighting every battle. But if he has a flaw, it's that he thinks 15 minutes of fame can last forever."


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