Judge orders Fort Hood suspect be clean-shaven

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Associated Press

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 6 at 2:01 PM

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A military judge says the Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage must be clean-shaven or will be forcibly shaved before his murder trial.

Col. Gregory Gross issued the official order Thursday after a hearing to determine whether a federal religious freedom law applied to Nidal Hasan's case.

Hasan says he grew his beard because his Muslim faith requires it. Army regulations ban beards.

Gross ruled the defense didn't prove that Hasan is growing a beard for sincere religious reasons.

Gross also says his order triggers another delay in all proceedings related to Hasan's trial because his attorneys plan to appeal.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack on the Texas Army post.

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