Suspect in Ohio Amish attacks to plead not guilty
CLEVELAND (AP) - December 21, 2011 (WPVI) -- A lawyer for one of 12 people charged in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio says the man will plead not guilty to federal hate-crime charges.
Attorney Dean Carro represents 37-year-old Lester Miller, a nephew of the alleged ringleader in the attacks linked to a breakaway Amish group and a feud over church discipline. Carro said Wednesday the case could lead to questions challenging the hate-crimes law.
The charges include conspiracy, assault and evidence tampering in what prosecutors say were hate crimes motivated by religious differences.
Five attacks involved cutting women's hair and men's beards and hair. That's considered deeply offensive in Amish culture.
A second defendant also plans to plead not guilty. There's been no comment on behalf of the other defendants.
ohio, hate crime, trial, national/world
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