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Judge in Hasan Case Removed

UPDATE 12/4 at 5:45pm: Army Col. Tara Osborn has been appointed to replace Col. Gregory Gross as judge in the military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. He's charged with in the shooting rampage that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded at Fort Hood in November 2009. It's not clear when hearings will resume.

ORIGINAL STORY: A military appeals court has removed the judge in the trial of the suspect in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood. 

For months, Major Nidal Hasan appeared in a military court with a beard. Each time, he was held in contempt. Army regulations forbid facial hair. Hasan says the beard is an expression of his Muslim faith.

Finally, the judge, Colonel Gregory Gross, ordered Hasan be shaved by force. Hasan’s lawyers appealed that order and asked that Gross be removed from the case, saying he was biased against their client.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces agreed, saying the order to shave Hasan was not the judge’s to make and that Gross at least appeared not to be impartial.

Bell County Sheriff's Department /

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the shootings which killed 13 people and wounded dozens.

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Matt has been a reporter at KUT off and on since 2006. He came to Austin from Boston, then went back for a while--but couldn't stand to be away--so he came back to Austin. Matt grew up in Maine (but hates lobster), and while it might sound hard to believe, he thinks Maine and Texas are remarkably similar.