Fort Hood shooting suspect barred from court again

This April 9, 2010, file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows U.S. Major Nidal Hasan at the Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas. A military judge was expected to rule Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 on whether the government should pay for two defense experts on behalf of Hasan, charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriffs Department, File)

June 29, 2012 10:18:38 AM PDT
A military judge in Central Texas again says the suspect in the Fort Hood shooting spree is banned from court until he shaves his beard.

Col. Gregory Gross said Friday that top Army officials have rejected Maj. Nidal Hasan's request for a religious exemption due to his Islamic faith. An appeals court also denied a defense request to overturn the judge's decision last week to bar Hasan from future hearings unless he shaves.

Hasan's beard violates Army regulations. He watched Friday's hearing from a closed-circuit TV in a nearby room.

The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 attack that claimed 13 lives faces the death penalty if convicted.

The judge hasn't ruled on whether to delay the August trial. The defense wants more time to prepare.