Maj. Nidal Hasan arrived for a pretrial hearing on June 8 with a beard.
FORT HOOD (June 17, 2012)—Military Judge Col. Gregory A. Gross has set a pretrial hearing Tuesday for accused Fort hood gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan, who’s charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center that left 12 soldiers and a civilian dead and 29 others injured.
Gross abruptly canceled what was to have been a half-day hearing on pretrial motions on June 8 after Hasan arrived with un-groomed hair and a beard.
Gross told Hasan that if he refused to shave and groom he will be removed from the courtroom and placed in a nearby room where he can watch subsequent proceedings on closed circuit TV.
Gross cited a military dress code rule that says an accused service member must be properly attired, which includes being clean-shaven.
The defense unsuccessfully sought an exemption for Hasan’s beard for religious reasons.
Gross will consider several motions including one from the defense seeking to delay the start of Hasan’s court-martial until Dec. 3.
Defense lawyers asked for the delay during the abbreviated June 8 hearing, saying that Hasan’s actions are preventing them from working on the case.
Other pending motions include discovery issues and whether the government should pay for the expert services of a neurologist for the defense.
Hasan is now scheduled to go on trial at Fort Hood on Aug. 20.
His court-martial was previously scheduled to begin on June 12, but in response to a defense request, Gross announced the new date in April.