Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged with murdering 13 people in last month's deadly Fort Hood shootings, has been left permanently paralyzed, but has recovered enough from his own wounds to be moved out of the intensive care unit.
Defense lawyer John Galligan told ABC News on Wednesday that Maj. Hasan still has no sensation from the chest down, but has left the ICU at San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center, where he has been hospitalized since a day after the Nov. 6 shooting, for a private room in another ward. He was moved late Tuesday night.
"I guess you could call that improvement," said Galligan, "but he'll be suffering for the rest of his life. He'll have paralysis for the rest of his life."
"He's far from out of the woods," said Galligan.
According to Galligan, Hasan is conscious and able to converse, can move his arms, and has some use of his hands. "I've had him sign a few things, but use of his hands is so difficult," he said. Gilligan expects Hasan to remain hospitalized for another three months.
Armed guards keep watch over Hasan, who has no television and is not allowed to monitor the news.
Galligan said he has not yet heard whether he will be allowed to move Hasan to another facility closer to Fort Hood, and to Galligan's law office in nearby Belton, Texas. Fort Hood is 2.5 hours north of San Antonio.
"In the absence of any compelling medical reason that requires him to remain in BAMC, he should be able to continue his rehabilitative treatment at a facility closer to his defense team," Galligan said.
Galligan is also waiting to hear when a "sanity board" will look into Hasan's competence, and whether he will be granted any additional military co-counsels. Hasan has been charged and will be tried in the military justice system. Galligan, Hasan's civilian attorney, already has one military cocounsel.
Hasan faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to death.