Beard conflict halts Fort Hood trial

Aug. 18, 2012 at 8:39 AM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- An appeals court halted the trial against the U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood, Texas, massacre to sort out a judge's threat to shave his beard.

Military judge U.S. Army Col. Gregory Gross had previously held Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in contempt of court five times saying the defendant's beard disrupted court proceedings, CNN reported.

Gross fined Hasan and threatened to have him forcibly shaved if the beard wasn't gone before the start of the trial scheduled Monday.

The judge said Hasan's beard violates Army grooming requirements and since he is still in the Army, those requirements still apply to him.

The military appeals court put the start of the trial on hold indefinitely until the issues surrounding the beard are sorted out, CNN said.

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.

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