Court ousts judge, shaving order in Fort Hood case
By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press December 4, 2012 10:32AM
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. A military appeals court has thrown out a judge's order to forcibly shave the Fort Hood shooting suspect and removed the judge from the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 that Col. Gregory Gross didn't appear impartial while presiding over the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram, File)
Updated: December 4, 2012 10:50PM
FORT WORTH, Texas — The military judge who ordered the Fort Hood shooting suspect’s beard to be forcibly shaved has been thrown off the case. That ruling ends lengthy delays in the trial of the Army officer charged with the 2009 rampage that killed 13 people.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled Monday that Col. Gregory Gross did not appear impartial while presiding over the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan. Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the attack that also injured more than two dozen people.
The court didn’t rule on whether Gross’ shaving order violated Hasan’s religious rights.
Hasan says his beard is a requirement of his Muslim faith, but facial hair violates Army rules.
The court says the command, not the judge, is responsible for enforcing grooming standards.