A US military judge on Tuesday refused to again delay the trial of an Army psychiatrist charged in a deadly shooting rampage at an Army base in Texas, setting up a highly anticipated court-martial next week.
Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at Fort Hood. Hasan faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.
The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, previously delayed the trial from March to June and then to August. In the latest request, defense attorneys argued they had not been able to look through 26 boxes of documents and talk to 20 new witnesses.
Gross again held Hasan in contempt of court and fined him $1,000 for refusing to shave his beard.
Beards are an Army violation. Hasan's attorneys have said he won't shave because it's an expression of his Muslim faith. But Gross said Hasan would be forcibly shaved before the trial if he doesn't shave the beard himself. He said he wants Hasan in the courtroom to prevent a possible appeal on the issue.
Hasan watched the rest of Tuesday's hearing in another room on closed-circuit television.