Opinion

Attorney says Fort Hood shooter’s $300K salary donated to charity

The victims of the Fort Hood massacre will have no opportunity to receive anything of the $300,000 in salary Nidal Hasan accumulated as a U.S. Army Colonel before being found guilty and sentenced to death.

Alonzo M. Lunsford Jr.
Staff Sgt. Alonzo M. Lunsford Jr. was shot seven times by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
An almost universal bone of contention from the day Hasan was arrested after murdering 13 soldiers and injuring over 30 more was the fact that he continued to receive some $7,000 in take home pay while awaiting trial, according to the American Bar Association Journal.

That was almost four years ago, and the money kept coming.

If there was any good that should have come out of this, it was that at least there would be something for Hasan’s victims and victims’ families in a civil suit. But it wasn’t to be.

“The great bulk of his income has been donated to charity,” said Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan. “There’s really virtually no money in any bank that I’m aware of. There’s really no property holdings.”

How and when was this done, and to what charities did the money go?

“We have no way of knowing what he did with that money,” said attorney Reed Rubinstein, who is representing plaintiffs in the case. “It’s quite possible and likely that the money is long gone.”

The ABA Journal also reported:

Another goal of the civil litigation, which was filed last November in federal court in Washington, D.C., by 83 survivors and victims’ families, is to get the massacre classified as an act of terrorism, rather than workplace violence, by the military. If those slain and wounded were considered to have been in combat, that would result in increased benefits and better medical care, according to the plaintiffs.

Even if the plaintiffs prevail in reclassifying the incident as an act of terrorism, the loss of Hasan’s salary, no matter the amount, is a bitter pill for them to swallow.

“It’s not about the amount. It’s about principle,” retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times by Hasan said, according to an Associated Press report.

“During this time the man was incarcerated, he was still drawing full military pay, full military benefits. That money was spent on him, and we were denied — still — certain benefits.”

Lunsford was hoping Hasan’s salary would go into a scholarship fund for victims’ children.

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