News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

NOCHE

Metro RTA


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Jury convicts Amish group of hate crimes in hair and beard cutting attacks
Sam Mullet Sr. and his followers face stiff prison terms for attacks
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
U.S Attorney Steve Dettlebach show letters written by Amish expressing fear of Sam Mullet Sr. and his followers.
Courtesy of Kevin niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
A federal jury in Cleveland has convicted an Amish bishop and his followers of committing hate crimes against other Amish. Sam Mullet Sr. and 15 followers were convicted today of cutting the hair and beards of victims based on religious differences. But defense attorneys say they’ll appeal.                                                                                                 
Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:53)


(Click image for larger view.)

 

In its fifth day of deliberations, the jury concluded that Sam Mullett encouraged his followers to carry out five hair and beard cutting attacks on fellow Amish Mullet believed were not strict enough. Hair and beards are considered religious symbols in Amish religion. The defendants are all from Bergholz, Ohio, and are considered to be an ultra-conservation breakaway sect. The defense said the attacks were simply family disputes not based on religion. It rested its case last week without calling any witnesses. At a press conference following the verdict, U.S. Attorney Steve Dettlebach called the convictions a victory for religious freedom.

“These were violent attacks that left the victims so shaken, degraded and scared that they were compelled to call local law enforcement for protection even though they don’t typically do that. And they needed the protection of the law.”

Dettlebach showed a handful of letters he says the U.S. Attorney’s office received from members of the Amish community around Bergholtz.

“Peaceful, scared people who wrote to us many times, unsolicited, saying the defendants were dangerous, and thanking and praying for the prosecution to continue its work.”

The jury of 7 men and 5 women had to decide if the attacks were simply assaults or religious hate crimes, whether there was bodily injury. Stu Smith of Ashtabula County was one of the jurors.

“The difficulty of separating personal and religious aspects of the trial were the most difficult.”

Besides the hate crime question, jurors also considered and convicted Mullet and a follower conspiracy, evidence tampering and obstructing justice. Holmes County Prosecutor Steve Knowling started the case against Mullet and his followers, a case that has drawn questions about government getting involved with religious disputes inside the isolated Amish community.

“A lot of people asking me, why was this being prosecuted, why is it such a big deal? We thought of it as a home invasion from the beginning. Thugs are thugs, cowards are cowards, it doesn’t make any difference what their religion is. They came to the front door of someone’s home and assaulted 2 elderly people and a child. If you don’t prosecute that you probably shouldn’t be a prosecutor.”

Sentencing is set for January 24th.  The defendants rejected plea bargains, and some of them could receive up to 20-year in prison.                                     

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University