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Hasan missing from courtroom, again

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TWC News: Hasan missing from courtroom, again
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Accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan was once again missing from the courtroom Friday during a hearing at Fort Hood.

Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross ruled on several motions previously brought up by the defense. Many dealt with the defense having access to documents or people. Hasan was forced to watch Friday’s proceedings from a trailer, on a closed circuit TV, after refusing to shave his beard, which is against Army grooming regulations.

One of the defense’s requests dealt with them asking to speak with someone from the Army Public Affairs Office about their capability to analyze all the media coverage the case has received.

Judge Gross denied that request but did grant the defense access to e-mail communication between different military installations the prosecution classified as “administrative details having to do with panel or jury selection.”

During Friday’s procedural hearings, it was revealed the prosecution and defense were not seeing eye-to-eye on what questions should be included in a questionnaire to be sent to 140 potential panel or jury members.

Since the death penalty could be considered in this case, a total 12 to 20 panel or jury members will need to be selected. The jury pool was originally set to be from Fort Sill in Oklahoma, but the panel was dissolved after a hearing earlier this month revealed a newspaper article had potentially identified them.

Hasan stands accused of killing 13 people in a mass shooting at Fort Hood in November 2009. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The judge will resolve outstanding issues during the next hearing, which is scheduled for July 12. The court martial is scheduled to begin August 20.

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