Judge may order Fort Hood suspect’s beard shaved
Published: September 6, 2012 11:21AM
Updated: September 6, 2012 11:41AM
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting. A military judge was expected Thursday to give an official order for a forcible beard shaving for Hasan. An appeals court has said Hasan can appeal that order, thus triggering another delay in his upcoming murder trial. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram, File)

Fort Hood, Texas • 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.

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