Sus­pect in Amish at­tacks must pay for de­fense

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

CLEVE­LAND | The ac­cused ring­leader in beard-cut­ting at­tacks on fel­low Amish in Ohio can­not rely on tax­pay­ers to pay his le­gal bills, a fed­eral judge ruled Wed­nes­day.

U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Dan Pol­ster ruled that Sa­muel Mul­let Sr., 66, who has a nearly 800-acre farm near Steubenville with oil and gas leases, can af­ford to pay his de­fense at­tor­ney.

Mr. Mul­let has been rep­re­sented by a public de­fender, Ed­ward Bryan, but now must pay the go­ing court rate of $125 hourly if he wants to keep him, the judge ruled.

Mr. Mul­let and 11 fol­low­ers are charged in five beard- and hair-cut­ting at­tacks on other Amish last year. They have pleaded not guilty.

Other de­fen­dants re­ceived cour­tap­pointed at­tor­neys.

A feud over church dis­ci­pline al­legedly led to at­tacks in which the beards and hair of men and hair of women were cut, an act con­sid­ered deeply of­fen­sive in Amish cul­ture. The Amish be­lieve the Bi­ble in­structs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shav­ing once they marry.

The 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals ruled that Farm­ers Branch over­stepped its au­thor­ity in 2008 when it passed a law call­ing on the city’s build­ing in­spec­tor to check the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of any­one want­ing to rent an apart­ment who wasn’t a U.S. cit­i­zen.

Un­der the law, il­le­gal im­mi­grants would have been barred from rental hous­ing, and land­lords who know­ingly al­lowed them to stay could have their rental li­censes barred.

“Be­cause the sole pur­pose and ef­fect of this or­di­nance is to tar­get the pres­ence of il­le­gal aliens within the City of Farm­ers Branch and to cause their re­moval, it con­tra­venes the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s ex­clu­sive au­thor­ity over the reg­u­la­tion of im­mi­gra­tion and the con­di­tions of res­i­dence in this coun­try,” the court’s opin­ion stated.

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