The leader of an Amish sect in Ohio, who was indicted on federal charges for allegedly shaving the beards and cutting the hair of community members, must pay for his own legal defense after making millions off an oil-and-gas deal, court documents show.
Previously ruled indigent, Samuel Mullet Sr. received about $2 million in early March by leasing the rights to his 800-acre farm in Bergholz and will now have to foot the bill for his public defender should he choose to keep him, the judge ruled Monday. He is free to retain private counsel, should he choose to do so.
The proceeds from the lease allowed Mullet to “free the farm of all outstanding debt and mortgages,” court documents said.
Because of his newfound wealth, Mullet must pay the public defender twice his normal government subsidized rate — $250 per hour, a court order signed by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster said. Mullet, who is the bishop of the Amish community in Bergholz, also was ordered to pay an hourly rate of $125 for legal work performed before the ruling was made.
In December, 12 members — 10 men and two women — of the breakaway Amish sect were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to violate the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. They were also charged with obstruction of justice in the five incidents, which prosecutors said occurred between September and November.
Mullet is being held without bond, because the court considers him a threat to the community and a flight risk. He has offered to secure his pretrial release through either a “significant cash bond” or by “pledging his property,” court documents said.
The trial is scheduled to start August 27.
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Article courtesy cnn.com