(FORT HOOD, Texas) — The Army major accused in the deadliest shooting on a military post in U.S. history finds himself in a hairy situation.
Nidal Hasan, charged in the murder of 13 people at Ford Hood, Texas, in November 2009, is refusing to cut off his beard, which he claims he grew for religious reasons.
Since Hasan is still a member of the Army, rules dictate that officers and soldiers cannot wear facial hair and therefore, military judge Col. Gregory Gross kicked him out of a pretrial hearing on Tuesday.
Hasan, who was paralyzed during the shooting that also wounded 32 others, was wheeled out of the courtroom and set up in a trailer where he watched the proceedings on closed circuit TV.
Meanwhile, a camera inside the trailer allowed those in the courtroom to watch Hasan, who is able to answer questions directed to him or his attorneys.
Tuesday was the second time that the judge has told Hasan to shave his beard and groom his hair. He had previously shown up at pre-trial hearings clean-shaven.
Explaining what was going on to the judge, defense attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe said Hasan’s beard is a “deeply sincere” expression of his Islamic faith. Hasan has told his lawyers of a premonition that he will die soon.
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