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Judge removes bearded Hasan from court

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TWC News: Judge removes bearded Hasan from court
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Accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan came to court Tuesday morning baring a full beard.

The defense asked Judge Gross to reconsider his ruling from earlier this month to bar Hasan from courtroom if he didn't shave, but Hasan was removed from the courtroom Tuesday and had to watch the proceedings from a closed circuit feed in a trailer about 15 feet away.

Hasan’s beard goes against military grooming standards, especially since Hasan is still considered an Army officer. Hasan's defense argued the beard was due to his faith and because of a premonition concern of his early death.

The defense filed a religious exception for his beard, but the motion is still pending.
The prosecution argued the beard was disruptive and a way to disguise appearance for trial identification purposes.

The defense also asked the judge to recuse himself. They previously asked judge to recuse himself for an “appearance of bias” because Judge Gross was on post when the shooting happened.

Now, they're filing for recusal based on "actual bias." They argue the judge's interaction with Hasan in court indicate personal actual bias.

The judge did not rule on that request.

After a short recess, the defense presented their argument for the judge to grant a continuance until December. As in previous requests for a delay, they cited the pages of documents they have to go through which numbers in excess of 300,000 pages.

The Defense argued if they went to trial August 20, they will not be prepared. They cited
a recent discovery of what a prosecution witness was going to say about Hasan. They said the expert will testify to the fact that Hasan is a “contemporary violent extremist” which is commonly known as a “homegrown terrorist.”

The prosecution says the defense's argument about the number of documents isn't new. They've presented the same argument in other requests for a delay. They also said in a trial like this the defense should not be surprised religion was going to be a factor.

The defense’s request for Hasan to see a neurologist at SAMMC was approved. It will only be a half-day test.

The judge set another hearing for Hasan June 29 at 10 a.m.

Hasan is charged with killing 13 people and injuring 32 others at Fort Hood in November 2009.

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