Defense: Gov't demonizing Amish leader in Ohio

January 23, 2012 - 11:35 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) — The defense for a breakaway Amish leader charged in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio says the government is trying to demonize him to keep him locked up pending trial.

The attorney for 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. told a Cleveland federal judge on Monday that the government is trying to invoke the memory of a deadly 1993 Waco, Texas, standoff in opposing Mullet's release.

Federal prosecutors say Mullet is a risk to flee and poses a danger to the community. There was no immediate response to the latest defense appeal.

Mullet and 11 followers are charged in five beard- and hair-cutting attacks on other Amish last year in a feud over church discipline.

All 12 have pleaded not guilty. Seven are jailed without bond.