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Federal judge re-affirms sentence in Amish hair-cutting case

May 3, 2018
FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2011, file photo, Samuel Mullet Sr. stands in front of his home in Bergholz, Ohio. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster rejected Mullet's latest appeal Wednesday, May 2, 2018, of a nearly 11-year prison sentence he received as leader of a breakaway group prosecuted for hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in 2011. The judge disagreed with arguments Mullet's previous lawyer made mistakes, ruling the alleged errors weren't prejudicial and Mullet wasn't denied a fair trial. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The leader of a breakaway Amish group in Ohio convicted in hair- and beard-cutting attacks has lost an attempt to appeal his sentence in federal court.

An attorney for 72-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. argues that Mullet’s previous lawyer made mistakes.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster disagreed Wednesday, concluding that those alleged errors weren’t prejudicial and that Mullet wasn’t denied a fair trial.

A message seeking comment on the decision was left Thursday for Mullet’s current lawyer.

Defense attorneys say the 2011 hair- and beard-cutting attacks stemmed from family disputes. Prosecutors say the motive was religious, as hair and beards have spiritual significance in the Amish faith.

Mullet is serving a sentence of about 11 years. Of the 16 Amish community members convicted in the case, only Mullet remains imprisoned.

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