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Judge Orders Fort Hood Suspect To Be Shaved

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U.S. Army doctor Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is the lone suspect in the shooting death of 13 people and wounding of 31 others at Fort Hood in 2009. (credit: Bell County Sheriff’s Department)

FORT HOOD (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 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.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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