FORT HOOD, Texas — The Army psychiatrist who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood decided not to present any evidence during his trial's penalty phase on Tuesday even though jurors are deciding whether to sentence him to death.

Maj. Nidal Hasan rested his case without calling witnesses or testifying to counter the emotional testimony from victims' relatives, who talked of eerily quiet homes, lost futures, alcoholism and the unmatched fear of hearing a knock on their front door.

Prosecutors hope the testimony helps convince jurors to hand down a rare military death sentence against Hasan, who was convicted last week for the 2009 attack that also wounded more than 30 people at the Texas military base.

The judge dismissed jurors after Hasan declined to put up a defense. But she then asked Hasan more than two dozen questions in rapid fire, affirming that he knew what he was doing. His answers were succinct and just as rapid.

"It is my personal decision," he said. "It is free and voluntary."

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, then read aloud several court opinions to back up her decision not to introduce evidence in Hasan's favor on her own.

"In other words, Maj. Hasan, you are the captain of your own ship," Osborn said.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday, but whether jurors will hear from Hasan remains unclear. He has been acting as his own attorney but has put up nearly no defense since his trial began three weeks ago.

The trial's penalty phase, however, is Hasan's last chance to tell jurors what he's spent the last four years telling the military, judges and journalists: that he believes the killing of unarmed American soldiers preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan was necessary to protect Muslim insurgents. He was barred ahead of trial of making such a defense.

Hasan rested his case shortly after more than a dozen widows, mothers, fathers, children and other relatives of those killed, along with soldiers wounded during the shooting rampage, testified about their lives since Nov. 5, 2009.

Sheryll Pearson sobbed when shown a photo of her son, Pfc. Michael Pearson, hugging her during his graduation.

"We always wanted to see who he was going to become. Now that was taken away from us," she said.

Teena Nemelka lost the youngest of her four children, Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, whom she called, "my baby." She talked about her frantic searches for information in the moments after learning about the shooting and about her fear of hearing a knock at the front door of her home.

"You just freeze," she said. "You don't want to open that door."

But the knock came, with "the worst news you could ever hear."

Joleen Cahill told jurors that she misses hearing her husband's footsteps in their Texas home, which she said now feels empty. Witnesses have said her husband, Michael Cahill, was armed only with a chair when he tried to charge Hasan as Hasan opened fire on unarmed soldiers inside a crowded medical building at Fort Hood.

The 62-year-old physician's assistant was the only civilian killed in the attack.

"One of the hardest things was being alone for first time in 60 years of my life. No one to come home to at night. No conversation. We loved to talk politics," she said.

Philip Warman said the slaying of his wife, Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, "was like I had something ripped out of me."

"I pretty much drank until the following June," he said.

He said he checked into a substance abuse center for 28 days, and he had friends remove his weapons from his home because he didn't trust himself.

Warman now takes the coins distributed during his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to Arlington National Cemetery, where his wife is buried next to another Fort Hood victim, Maj. Eduardo Caraveo.

"I push them into the ground at my wife's grave," he said.

One of the soldiers who survived the shooting walked into the courtroom Tuesday with the help of a cane. Lt. Col. Randy Royer, who underwent multiple surgeries after being shot in the arm and leg, told jurors that he also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Usually when I'm in a large group of people, I have a lot of issues," he said.

"One of the worst times is when I have to go to pharmacy. They have all the chairs lined up (like the scene of the attack)," he said. "When I walk in there, I don't do well."

Prosecutors want Hasan to join just five other U.S. service members currently on military death row. That would require a unanimous decision by the jury of 13 military officers, and prosecutors must prove an aggravating factor and present evidence to show the severity of Hasan's crimes.

Hasan has done little to counter prosecutors' case. He questioned only three of prosecutors' nearly 90 witnesses, and although he gave a brief opening statement – during which he acknowledged that the evidence would show he was the shooter – he gave no closing argument before he was convicted.

The military attorneys ordered to advise him during the trial have repeatedly asked to take over his case. They made a similar request Tuesday, saying Hasan hadn't presented evidence that could persuade jurors to sentence him to life in prison.

They lawyers asked to present that evidence as a third party, but the judge denied their request. Osborn said Hasan's choice to represent himself – while ill-advised – was a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

No American soldier has been executed since 1961. Many military death row inmates have had their sentences overturned on appeal, which are automatic when jurors vote for the death penalty. The president also must eventually approve a military death sentence.

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  • Nidal Hasan

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Hasan should be forced to shave his beard to avoid any potential jury bias in his pending murder trial, say some military experts and the judge overseeing his pending court-martial. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram, File)

  • Nidal Hasan

    FILE - An April 9, 2010 file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriffs Department, shows U.S. Maj. Nidal Hasan at the San Antonio to Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas. Judge, Col. Gregory Gross, is to decide at a pretrial hearing Tuesday Aug. 14, 2012, whether to delay the trial of Hasan. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriffs Department, File)

  • Nidal Malik Hasan

    FILE - The 2007 file photo provided by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) shows Nidal Malik Hasan when he undertook the Disaster and Military Psychiatry Fellowship program. Hasan is charged in the fatal 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood which killed 13 people and injured more that 30 others. He faces the death penalty if convicted. (AP Photo/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    Maj. Laura Suttinger of the 467th Combat Stress Control Detachment shows a bracelet at a press conference Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, in Madison, Wis. The bracelet commemorates soldiers who were killed on Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, during a shooting rampage suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2009 file photo, the entrance to Fort Hood Army Base in Fort Hood, Texas, near Killeen is seen. Eighty-three victims and family members in the worst mass shooting ever at a U.S. military installation are seeking $750 million in compensation from the Army, alleging that willful negligence enabled psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan to carry out a terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett, File)

  • Shawn Manning

    In this Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, photo, retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning poses for a photo, at his home in Lacey, Wash., as he holds a memorial bracelet for members of his military unit who were killed in a 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. Manning, who still carries two bullets in his body from the shooting that killed 13 people, is scheduled to testify at the court martial for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused shooter this week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Shawn Manning

    In this Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, photo, retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning poses for a photo, at his home in Lacey, Wash. as he holds a photograph from the memorial for victims of a 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. Manning, who still carries two bullets in his body from the shooting that killed 13 people, is scheduled to testify at the court martial for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused shooter this week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Kathy Platoni

    File - In this Nov. 1, 2010 file photo from Beaver Creek Ohio, U.S. Army Col. Kathy Platoni talks of the Fort Hood, Texas shooting that took 13 lives and wounded more than 30 others. After years of delays, Platoni will come face to face with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man accused of the 2009 shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    This handout photo courtesy of Eduardo Caraveo show Maj Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, who was killed during a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009. A trial for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged in the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded, starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Eduardo Caraveo)

  • John Gaffaney

    File - This undated file photo provided by the Gaffaney family shows John Gaffaney, who was killed during a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009. A trial for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged in the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded, starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Gaffaney Family)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    This handout photo courtesy of Keely Vanacker shows Mike Cahill who was killed during a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009. A trial for Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged in the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded, starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Keely Vanacker)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE - This file combination image shows handout photos of the victims killed during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. From top left, Michael Grant Cahill, 62, of Cameron, Texas; Maj. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, 52, of Woodbridge, Va.; Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, of Evans, Ga.; Capt. John Gaffaney, 56, of San Diego, Calif.; Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tenn.; Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Frederick, Okla., Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis.; Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah; Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, Ill.; Capt. Russell Seager, 51, of Racine, Wis.; Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago; Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, of Havre de Grace, Md.; and Pfc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn. A trial for Nidal Hasan, who is charged in the shooting rampage that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded, starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo, File)

  • Alonzo Lunsford

    In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013, photo, retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford walks down the steps of his home in Lillington, N.C. Nearly three dozen soldiers, including Lunsford, who was wounded in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas are facing the prospect of being approached and questioned in court by the man many witnesses have identified as the gunman: Maj. Nidal Hasan. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

  • Alonzo Lunsford

    In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013, photo, photos of Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford recovering from his wounds after the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas are displayed on a desk at his home in Lillington, N.C. Nearly three dozen soldiers wounded in the deadly attack on the Texas Army post are facing the prospect of being approached and questioned in court by the man many witnesses have identified as the gunman: Maj. Nidal Hasan. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

  • Alonzo Lunsford

    In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013, photo, retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford describes one of his wounds from the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage, at his home in Lillington, N.C. Nearly three dozen soldiers wounded in the deadly attack on the Texas Army post are facing the prospect of being approached and questioned in court by the man many witnesses have identified as the gunman: Maj. Nidal Hasan. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE- In this July 20, 2011, file photo, U.S. Army military police walk out of the Lawrence H. Williams Judicial Center where a hearing for U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan was being conducted in Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded. Hasan doesn’t deny that he carried out the rampage, but military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. If he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE- In this Nov. 10, 2009, file photo, soldiers salute as they honor victims of the Fort Hood shooting at a memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas. Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded. Hasan doesn’t deny that he carried out the rampage, but military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. If he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE - This June 11, 2013, file courtroom sketch shows U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, right, sitting by his former defense attorneys Maj. Joseph Marcee, far left, and Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, center, during a hearing at Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded. Hasan doesn’t deny that he carried out the rampage, but military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. If he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead. (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley, File)

  • John Rossi, Steven Braverman

    FILE- In this Nov. 6, 2009, file photo, Col. (P) John Rossi, Deputy Commander General of Fires and Effects, and Col. Steven Braverman, Commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, address reporters during a news conference following a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded. Hasan doesn’t deny that he carried out the rampage, but military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. If he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead. (AP Photo/Killeen Daily Herald, David Morris, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE- In this Nov. 5, 2009, file image released by the U.S. Army, emergency workers prepare the wounded for transport in waiting ambulances near Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center in Fort Hood, Texas. Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and more than 30 others wounded. Hasan doesn’t deny that he carried out the rampage, but military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. If he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, Jeramie Sivley, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    The Lawrence H. Williams Judicial Center is shown behind a protective barrier as jury selection begins, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist going on trial in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting wants to tell potential jurors that he's being forced to wear a military uniform he believes represents "an enemy of Islam," he told a judge Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Nidal Hasan, Kris Pope, Tara Osborn, Larry Downend, Mike Mulligan, Steven Henricks

    In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, left sitting, sits by his former defense attorney, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, left rear, as Judge Tara Osborn, behind bench, watches prosecutor Maj. Larry Downend, standing, question potential jurors with fellow prosecutors Col. Mike Mulligan, center front, and Col. Steven Henricks, right, looking on, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan faces execution or life without parole if convicted in the 2009 rampage that killed 13 and wounded nearly three dozen on the Texas Army post. (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley)

  • Tara Osborn, Nidal Hasan, Joseph Marcee, Kris Poppe

    In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, right, sits by his former defense attorneys Maj. Joseph Marcee, far left, and Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, center, with Judge, Col. Tara Osborn, behind the bench during a pretrial hearing, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. Jury selection is set to start Tuesday in the long-awaited murder trial of Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic gun at Fort Hood nearly four years ago. (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    Television cameramen walk by a Fort Hood Police Mobile Command Center near the Lawrence H. WIlliams Judicial Center as a pretrial hearing gets underway, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. Jury selection is set to start Tuesday in the long-awaited murder trial of Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic gun at Fort Hood nearly four years ago. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Nidal Hasan

    FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2012 courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, center foreground with back showing, is seen sitting between members of is defense team during a hearing in Fort Hood, Texas. The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood is paralyzed from the waist down, after being shot by police that day. A judge has permitted him to represent himself at trial, but his compromised health means that his upcoming court martial will have shorter periods of testimony, more breaks and possible lengthy delays to write legal motions. (AP Photo/Brigitte Woosley, File)

  • Fort Hood Shooting

    FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2009, file photo, a memorial to victims of the Fort Hood shooting is shown before the start of a memorial service, to be attended by President Barack Obama, at Fort Hood, Texas. Osama bin Laden is dead and there hasn’t been a successful attack by al-Qaida-inspired extremists on U.S. soil since the deadly shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. But the danger of terrorism remains a reality for Americans, as seen in the attack in Libya in September that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File)