The leader of 16 Amish men and women found guilty of hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of fellow members of their faith has lost another request to be released from prison.
Day two of testimony in the Amish beard-cutting attack trial resumed Thursday in Cleveland Federal Court. It included emotional remarks from Barbara Miller, who was attacked in her home a year ago, along with her husband, Martin, by fellow Amish and the Miller's own children.
Sam Mullet's daughter-in-law, Nancy Mullet, who was accused of taking part in one of the alleged hair and beard cutting attacks with her husband Eli took the witness stand Thursday afternoon.
Nancy Mullet has immunity and is testifying for the prosecution. She testified her family wanted to move away from Sam Mullet and his breakaway Amish group, but Sam Mullet told her they would be killed.
Nancy Mullet testified that Sam Mullet counseled her and other women about their marriages. The Amish woman said that Sam Mullet told her in order to improve her marriage she would have to hug him, kiss him, sit on his lap and eventually was asked to have sex with him.
Her testimony continued by saying, Sam Mullet told her if she didn't move in with him the "devil would get a hold of her," she testified as her voice quivered on the stand.
Prosecutors are trying to show that Sam Mullet forced 15 members of his group to carry out the alleged hair and beard cutting attacks. The judge reminded the jurors that Sam Mullet is not charged with any sex crime.
Beards and hair are a religious symbol for Amish.
Nancy Miller told the court about her role in the attack on her own parents. She said her parents' hair had to be cut because it was "to help with their life and faith because they weren't living a proper lifestyle." The daughter said the attack was done out of compassion to help her parents to get to heaven.
Nancy Miller said she went along with the group to cut her parents' hair because they were "bad parents," who verbally abused and "belittled" her brothers growing up. Even so, she never meant to hurt her family.
When asked to elaborate on the verbal abuse, Nancy Miller began crying.
"Do I have to give details? I don't want to," she said. Nancy Miller said she never witnessed physical abuse, but her brothers talked about it.
Earlier, Nancy Miller's mother, Barbara, testified about the attack.
"My husband was held down. They were cutting his beard and yelling. They were just screaming, the six boys were. It was horrifying for me to see my boys treat their dad like that," Barbara said.
The mother also testified that during the attack on her husband she cried out "don't shear me."
Barbara said the men used scissors and clippers to cut their hair, leaving them bruised and bleeding. Even her own daughter stood by and watched, she said.
Defense attorneys argue this case is a family feud and not a federal case or a religious hate crime. The defendants, led by Sam Mullet, are part of a breakaway Amish group.
So far federal prosecutors evidence has included photos the defendants took of the alleged beard cutting attacks and a receipt for large shears made to cut the mane of a horse, but allegedly used on the victims.
One of 16 Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio has a few days to say her goodbyes before heading to prison.
The Amish imprisoned in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio will no longer be required to attend high-school equivalency classes behind bars.
The Amish schoolhouse quiets as students in first through eighth grades settle into tight rows of scuffed metal desks to begin singing, their voices rising and dipping like the surrounding hills.
The leader of a group of 16 Amish men and women found guilty of hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of fellow members of their faith has lost a request to be released from prison pending an appeal of his conviction and sentencing.
Sixteen Amish men and women who have lived rural, self-sufficient lives with little outside contact are facing regimented routines in a federal prison system where modern conveniences such as television will be a constant temptation.