Maj. Hasan breaks silence at trial

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) _ The soldier on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood has broken his largely silent defense by briefly questioning a witness who saw the attack.
   Maj. Nadal Hasan, who is representing himself, cross-examined Staff Sgt. Juan Alvarado on Monday.
   Alvarado says he saw a gunfight between Hasan and Kimberly Munley, a Fort Hood police officer who responded to the shootings at the Texas military base.
   Alvarado says Hasan tried to shoot Munley after she'd been shot and disarmed.
   Hasan asked Alvarado: ``I don't want to put words in your mouth, (but) are you saying that after it was clear that she was disarmed, I continued to fire at her?''
   Alvarado said that was correct.
   Prosecutors have called more than 80 witnesses. Hasan has only questioned three of them.

The military judge overseeing the trial is strongly urging the suspect to forgo representing himself and allow trained attorneys to take over.
   The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, quizzed Hasan on Monday about representing himself. The Army psychiatrist is accused of killing 13 people on the Texas military base in November 2009, but he's remained mostly silent during his trial.
   Osborn told Hasan she believed he'd be better off with a lawyer who would know the rules for military trials, such as when to raise objections and how to spot issues for appeals.
   Hasan acknowledged that Osborn had relayed such advice ``repeatedly,'' but he insisted on representing himself.
   Military defense attorneys ordered to help Hasan have accused him of trying to secure himself a death sentence.