A military judge on Friday rejected Nidal Hasan’s claim that he shot 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood because they represented an immediate threat to Taliban leaders.
Col. Tara Osborn said the Army psychiatrist can’t use a “defense of others” argument, The Associated Press reported.
She said the soldiers shot and killed that day, including the 32 wounded, posed no immediate threats.
Osborn also reminded the defendant that the legitimacy of the war in Afghanistan is not up for debate.
Hasan is representing himself in the Fort Hood shooting trial, which has yet to begin. He’s the only suspect in the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage in Texas.
Authorities say Hasan, 42, entered a medical station, shouted something in Arabic, and opened fire with a handgun.
Soldiers at the station were getting medical treatment before deploying to Iraq. Hasan himself was set to deploy with an Army psychiatry unit.
Hasan was also injured that day, left paralyzed from the waist down by police returning fire, according to BBC.
His legal wrangling, including a successful appeal to represent himself, have drastically slowed the trial.
Neal Sher, a New York-based lawyer who represents Fort Hood shooting victims, said Tuesday that Hasan was “just playing” the judicial system.
“It has really become a theater of the absurd,” Sher told Reuters.
If convicted, Hasan faces the death penalty or life in prison.
More from GlobalPost: Judge allowing Fort Hood suspect to defend himself
Reuters contributed to this report.