Judge may order Fort Hood suspect's beard shaved

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by Laura Matovina

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A judge is expected to order the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage to have his beard shaved.

Col. Gregory Gross said he will issue the order this week for Maj. Nidal Hasan.

But Hasan is allowed to appeal, which would trigger another delay in his upcoming murder trial.

Gross will preside Thursday over a hearing to determine how a federal religious freedom law applies in the case.

Gross is expected to rule the law doesn't trump Army regulations designed to maintain order and discipline -- including the ban on beards.

Hasan says he grew a beard because his Muslim faith requires it.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the attack that killed 13 on the Texas Army post.

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