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Judge denies Fort Hood trial delay request

Aug. 15, 2012 at 7:40 AM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A military judge refused to delay the trial of the U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, massacre scheduled to start next week.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at the Texas Army base. The court-martial is to start Monday with jury selection, known as selection of the military trial panel, which could take a week, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Military judge Col. Gregory Gross ordered Hasan to return to court Wednesday and Thursday so other pretrial issues could be considered and Hasan could enter his pleas to the charges.

Gross also denied a defense request Tuesday to not admit testimony of one government expert, Evan Kohlmann, a consultant who has been a government witness in more than two dozen terrorism cases and has testified during a pretrial hearing Hasan met the definition of a home-grown terrorist.

He also held Hasan in contempt of court and fined him $1,000 for "failure to be clean-shaven," a statement issued by the Fort Hood public affairs office said.

The judge previously said Hasan's beard violates Army grooming requirements. He warned that failure to shave his beard could result in Hasan being held in contempt, fined, removed from court, ordered to watch the proceedings by closed-circuit television and possibly forcibly shaved if the beard isn't gone before trial.

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