The Army psychiatrist charged in last year's deadly Fort Hood shootings has been undergoing a mental evaluation.

Maj. Nidal Hasan's lead attorney, John Galligan, says a three-member military panel has until mid-January to submit its report on the exam that began this week.

The panel will determine if Hasan is competent to stand trial and what his mental status was during the Nov. 5, 2009, shootings on the Texas Army post.

After a brigade commander receives the report, he'll recommend whether Hasan should go to trial and possibly face the death penalty for 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

The final decision rests with a commanding general. Last month an Army colonel initially recommended that Hasan should be court-martialed and face the death penalty.