Judge Bans Now-Bearded Fort Hood Shooting Suspect From Military Court
Posted Jun 19, 2012 12:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
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.
ABAJournal.com: "Fort Hood Shooting Suspect, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to Face Court Martial, Possible Death Penalty"