published Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Attorneys: Fort Hood suspect offered guilty plea

ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press

FORT HOOD, Texas — Attorneys for the Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood massacre say he offered twice to plead guilty and "accept responsibility" earlier this year.

Maj. Nidal Hasan's attorneys say he even tried to challenge Army rules preventing him from pleading guilty to murder in a death penalty case.

The revelations came before a judge ruled Hasan must be clean-shaven or have his beard forcibly shaved before trial.

Hasan's attorneys were disputing prosecutors' claims that he grew the beard to make it more difficult for witnesses to identify him at his trial.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder, even if he decides to plead guilty to 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post.

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