By Peter J. Smith
FORT HOOD, Texas, November 10, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A US Army officer with ties to radical Islam who is alleged to have perpetrated Thursday's massacre of thirteen US servicemen and women at the Fort Hood Army base, may very well find that he claimed a fourteen victim under federal law – the unborn child of slain private first class Francheska Velez.
Velez, 21, had returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and had requested maternity leave upon discovering that she was pregnant. The private, already three months pregnant, had stopped at Ft. Hood briefly with leave just several weeks away, when her life was among those violently taken by Maj. Nidal Hasan. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and a US Muslim who appears to have established ties with a radical imam overseas, was allegedly upset that he was scheduled for a tour of duty in Iraq where he felt he would be participating in the killing of fellow Muslims.
Hasan was able to kill 12 soldiers, one civilian, and wound at least 30 others until he was taken down by a civilian policewoman who was herself wounded.
While Hasan recovers at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the Army is readying itself to charge Hasan in military court, where he could face the death-penalty. But prosecutors will have to charge Hasan under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which was amended in 2004 to include “Laci and Conner's Law” or the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA).
The UVVA requires that the justice system charge the perpetrator of a violent crime against a pregnant woman, resulting in death or bodily injury to her unborn child, with committing a separate and distinct offence against the mother's unborn child. The law specifies that the punishment applied for the injury or death of the child must be the same – with the exception of the death penalty – as if “that injury or death occurred to the unborn child's mother.”
For these reasons, Hasan could face an additional murder charge in the death of Velez's unborn child in addition to the thirteen other counts of murder he will likely face when he is well enough to stand trial.
A Fort Hood media specialist told LifeSiteNews.com this afternoon that pending more information, the Army was unable to comment at this time regarding which charges Hasan might face, including any charges relating to the UVVA.
Hasan has yet to be formally charged under the UCMJ.
The Washington Post reports that Hasan created a powerpoint presentation in June 2007 entitled “The Koranic World View As It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military.” In the presentation, Hasan lectured doctors and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Islam and the possibility of “adverse events” the military could expect from Muslims in the armed services who are sent to fight against other Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.