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Deliberations to Continue in Amish Attacks Case

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CLEVELAND — Still no verdict on day four of the religious hate crimes trial of Amish leader Sam Mullet and his followers.

The jury started deliberating at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

An hour later, the jury had a question about Count One, the conspiracy charge.

Judge Dan Aaron Polster ordered that the jury had to determine which of the 16 defendants joined in the conspiracy.

According to federal prosecutors, Mullet personally oversaw three planned attacks on nine different people. 

The individuals named in the 10-count indictment are accused of cutting the hair and beards after forcibly restraining people. 

According to the Amish faith, the head hair and beards are considered sacred religious symbols on men and women.

The prosecution argued that Mullet and his followers purposely invaded the homes of their victims and that they laughed and joked about the attacks, even taking pictures.

One defense attorney argued that the attacks were based on a power struggle between the Amish community, not based on religion.

Another defense attorney stated that the attacks were personal in nature between various families.

Deliberations were scheduled to continue on Thursday.