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Fort Hood massacre trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan to start in August, military judge refuses delay

Undated photo of Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shootings AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram

Undated photo of Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings that killed 13 people.
AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram

(CBS/AP) FORT HOOD, Texas - A military judge denied defense attorneys' request to delay the trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others. Hasan was banned from the courtroom in Friday's hearing because his beard violates Army regulations.

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Hasan's trial will proceed as scheduled on Aug. 20. Defense attorneys wanted the trial moved to December, saying they needed more time to prepare.

But the judge, Col. Gregory Gross, said the defense already had plenty of time. Prosecutors said they were ready for trial last fall, but the court-martial was set for March and postponed multiple times to August, all at the request of the defense team.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post.

The shooting suspect watched Friday's hearing from a closed-circuit television in a nearby room, as he did during last week's hearing.

Col. Gross said Friday that top officials rejected Hasan's request for a religious exemption to the Army's rule of banning beards. The judge decided last week to bar Hasan from the courtroom unless he shaves, which  Hasan says he is unwilling to do due to his Islamic faith. An appeals court denied a defense request to overturn the judge's decision.

Complete coverage of the Fort Hood shootings on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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