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Contempt of Court Charge for Accused Ft. Hood Shooter

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courtesy Bell County Sheriff's Department

Today, alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan was found in contempt of court, fined $1,000 and told he could be forcibly shaved if he didn’t remove his beard in time for his pending trial date.

Hasan’s facial hair has been a focal point throughout several recent court appearances. Army psychiatrist Hasan and his attorneys contend his beard is an expression of his Muslim faith; Army protocols, however, demand the beard be removed, which Hasan has so far refused to do.

The AP reports:

Hasan's defense attorneys argued that he had not shaved in observance of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, KWTX-TV reported. Ramadan is expected to end just before the trial starts.

The trial was recessed soon after Judge Col. Gregory Gross found Hasan in contempt. Today’s hearing was initially set to talk about pending motions and discuss administrative matters.

Hasan is facing 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the 2009 shootings. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. The trial is scheduled to begin August 20th.

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