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Fort Hood Shooting Suspect Explains Beard To Judge

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(AP Photo/FILE) (AP Photo/FILE)
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FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage has told a judge that he grew a beard because his Muslim faith requires it.

Speaking in court for the first time since showing up with a beard in violation of Army regulations in June, Maj. Nidal Hasan sayidhe isn't trying to disrespect the authority of the judge.

Thursday's hearing before Col. Gregory Gross was the first since an appeals court stopped proceedings to consider the dispute over Hasan's beard.

Gross held Hasan in contempt for a sixth time and sent him to a nearby room to watch the rest of the proceedings on closed-circuit television.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack that killed 13 and wounded more than two dozen others.

Col. Gregory Gross, the judge, had said he would order Hasan forcibly shaved if Hasan did not remove the beard himself. Hasan appealed, and a higher court briefly stayed the case but didn't address whether officials could forcibly shave him.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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