September 23, 2014
CLEVELAND (AP) - The leader of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio has been found guilty of hate crimes by orchestrating the beard- and hair-cutting attacks against members of his own faith in a dispute over religious differences.
The jury on Thursday found Samuel Mullet Sr. guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio.
Mullet and his family members are among 16 people who've been on trial in a Cleveland federal trial.
The government says the defendants targeted the victims' hair because it carries spiritual significance in their faith.
Mullet faces a prison term of 10 years or more.
Defense attorneys had conceded the hair cuttings took place but argue that the government is overreaching by calling what happened hate crimes. They say the cuttings were merely personal family disputes.