Excerpt:

Fort Hood mass murder suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan is in a U.S. military courtroom Wednesday for pretrial hearings with the new judge overseeing his case.

Judge Tara Osborn took over last month after the previous judge was removed by an appeals court over implied bias in contempt rulings about Hasan's beard. The defendant is wearing a beard of facial hair that is now longer than it had at past court appearances when Judge Gregory Gross ordered him removed from the room for refusing to shave.

Hasan claims removing the beard violates his Muslim faith.


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