FORT WORTH, Texas -- A military appeals court has removed the judge who was presiding over the Fort Hood shooting case, saying his treatment of the suspect indicates a lack of impartiality.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged in the 2009 rampage that left 13 people dead and dozens injured. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Col. Gregory Gross had ordered that Hasan be clean shaven or have his beard forcibly shaved before the military trial begins because facial hair violates Army rules. Hasan says his beard is a requirement of his Muslim faith.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled Monday that the command, not the judge, is responsible for enforcing grooming standards.
The court didn’t rule on whether Gross’ shaving order violated Hasan’s religious rights.