Amish bishop testifies about his attackers

12:03 PM, Sep 6, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Amish Bishop Myron Miller took the stand in Cleveland federal court Thursday morning, describing the attack on himself and his wife.

Miller and his wife Arlene were among those attacked and had their hair cut and the men had their beards cut.

Related story: Amish trial resumes: 'Motive revenge, not religion'

Miler testified before U.S. District Judge Daniel Polster that he was startled from his sleep and at his door was Johnny Mullet, Samuel Mullet Sr.'s son.

Miller, 46, says he was grabbed by the beard, pulled from his home, and his beard was cut down to an inch and a half during the Oct. 4 attack.

Miller said he as "humiliated and hurt."

Myron and his wife Arlene spoke exclusively with Channel 3 about the attack before the trial started.

His beard has grown back nearly to mid-chest. Hair and beards have spiritual significance in the Amish faith. Amish men do not shave their beards after marriage, believing it signifies their devotion to God.

The defendants say the beard-cuttings reflected church discipline amid a feud over church practices.

Under cross-examination, Miller testified that discipline "should simply be Scriptural, out of love."

His Amish community was involved in a long-running dispute with the alleged ring leader of the beard-cutting group.

Federal officials say Samuel Mullet Sr. is the ringleader of the Bergholz clan, 15 Amish men and women among a community of about 200 who carried out attacks on other Amish.

Defense attorneys say these incidents were nothing more than religious differences while federal officials say they are hate crimes.   

The trial continues Thursday with more victims' testifying.

WKYC-TV

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