Military Law

Judge Bans Now-Bearded Fort Hood Shooting Suspect From Military Court

A 41-year-old Army psychiatrist charged in a fatal 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas was banned from attending a military court hearing there on Tuesday because he is wearing a beard, in violation of Army regulations.

Col. Gregory Gross had warned suspect Nidal Hasan in an earlier hearing that he faced sanctions if he didn’t appear clean-shaven on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. Hasan, who will be watching Tuesday’s hearing on closed-circuit television, could also be charged with violations of regulations, including failure to obey a lawful order, because of his beard.

His defense counsel explains that the beard is an expression of Hasan’s religion and says he will be seeking a religious exemption to the shaving regulation. Until recently, Hasan had appeared clean-shaven at court hearings.

He is charged in a capital case with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

Earlier coverage: “Fort Hood Shooting Suspect, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to Face Court Martial, Possible Death Penalty”

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