The lawyer for the Army psychiatrist accused in the mass shooting at Fort Hood says the suspected gunman was "coherent" when he spoke to him and he is "aware that he's a suspect," The Associated Press reported.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's attorney is retired Col. John P. Galligan, who has a long history practicing Army law and last served as Chief Circuit Judge at Fort Hood in Texas.

Galligan said on CBS' "The Early Show" that he assured Hasan he'll be fairly treated in the military courts system and his rights will be respected, according to the AP.

Galligan said Hasan, 39, was lucid and knew he was a suspect in the mass killings, "but there were no formal charges that I could discuss with him." The two met on Monday.

Galligan said Tuesday he thought it would be difficult for Hasan to get a fair trial at Fort Hood in Texas "given the national media attention that has been focused" on the massacre, which left 13 dead and more than two dozen wounded.

Hasan is suspected of opening fire the afternoon of Nov. 5 at a military processing center for soldiers coming back from and heading to war in Afghanistan or Iraq.

At the time of Galligan's 2001 retirement, he was serving as the Chief Circuit Judge, 3rd Judicial Circuit, at Fort Hood.

Born in 1949 at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Galligan grew up in a military family and accompanied his parents on assignments to Fort Churchill, Nevada; Canada; Taipei, Taiwan; and Istanbul, Turkey.

After graduating from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1971, Galligan became a second lieutenant in the military's intelligence division.

He also served at various times as a combat arms officer in the infantry branch, a platoon leader and the Brigade Courts and Boards Officer with the 41st Infantry Combat unit at Fort Ord in California.

He has his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico.

From 1976 to 1979, Galligan served as a defense counsel and later as a trial attorney in the 1st Armored Division in Germany.

He was an appellate counsel with the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency from 1979 until 1981.In that role, he represented the government in cases before the U.S. Army Court of Military Review and the Court of Army Appeals.

Galligan helped develop the Trial Counsel Assistance Program, designed to assist military prosecutors in improving their trial skills.

Galligan twice served in the U.S. Army Litigation Division, first as a branch chief and later as the division chief.

He served two tours with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood as deputy and staff judge advocate. He also was staff judge advocate in Panama.

In 1997, he assumed duties as a circuit judge at Fort Hood, becoming Chief Circuit Judge for the 3rd Circuit — one of the largest and busiest jurisdictions in the Army — in 1999.

He was on a judicial reform team that focused on South America. The group worked on criminal prosecution and military justice.

Galligan is licensed to practice law in Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and Texas. After he retired from the Army, he set up a private law firm in Belton, Texas.

Galligan has played the cello since he was 5 years old. He has been a cellist in various amateur orchestras, as well as in local orchestra groups while serving at Fort Hood in the early 1990s.

Galligan is married to Harriett Mechiko Despretter; the couple have two sons and live in California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.