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Fort Hood Suspect Explains Beard to Judge

This undated photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department via The Temple Daily Telegram shows a bearded Army Maj. Nidal Hasan,the psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

FORT HOOD, Texas - The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage has told a judge that he grew a beard because his Muslim faith requires it.

Speaking in court for the first time since showing up with a beard in violation of Army regulations in June, Maj. Nidal Hasan says he isn't trying to disrespect the authority of the judge.

Thursday's hearing before Col. Gregory Gross was the first since an appeals court stopped proceedings to consider the dispute over Hasan's beard.

Gross held Hasan in contempt for a sixth time and sent him to a nearby room to watch the rest of the proceedings on closed-circuit television.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack that killed 13 and wounded more than two dozen others.

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