Friday, December 07, 2012

New Trial Motion By Defendants Convicted In Amish Beard-Cutting Case Is Denied

In United States v. Mullet, (ND OH, Dec. 6, 2012), an Ohio federal district court denied a motion for a new trial by Bergholz Amish leader Samuel Mullet, Sr. and his co-defendants who were convicted in September of conspiring to violated the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act in connection with beard- and hair-cutting attacks against a rival Amish group. (See prior posting.) The court rejected Mullet's argument that there was insufficient evidence to link him to the attacks, saying:
While it is true Defendant did not physically participate in any of the attacks, there was extensive evidence showing he was a member of the conspiracy the object of which was to commit them.... Defendant, as Bishop of Bergholz, ran his community with an iron fist—nothing of significance happened without his knowledge and approval.  Even if the Government proved nothing more than that Samuel Mullet, Sr., was told about the attacks in advance by his followers and then said or did nothing to stop or prevent them, or even voice his disapproval, a jury could conclude that he had joined the conspiracy.... 
The court also rejected Mullet's argument regarding newly discovered evidence and his objections to evidence presented at trial of an AP article, and of his sexual relationship with one of his daughters-in-law.  AP reports on the decision.