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One Suspect in Amish Hair-Cutting Attacks Released Due to Mistaken ID, Cops Say

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- One of the three Amish outcasts arrested and charged for their alleged involvement in a series of attacks on Amish families in eastern Ohio was released after police admitted that they mistook him for his brother.

Lester M. Miller, 37, walked free after an interrogation proved that he was misidentified, the Wheeling Intelligencer reported.

Two other men remained behind bars Sunday. Authorities said they expected to arrest the correct Miller sibling -- Levi -- and another man in connection with the attacks.

The suspects allegedly cut off their victims' beards or hair in a string of home invasions.

The men reportedly are part of the Bergholz clan, an Amish community led by bishop Sam Mullet that was the subject of a disputed child custody raid in 2007 amid allegations of sexual abuse.
Police say the attacks, which started roughly three weeks ago, are in retaliation for the clan ostracizing Mullet over the allegations.

Authorities confirmed that the two men who remained in custody were Mullet's sons -- Johnny Mullet, 38, and Lester Mullet, 26.

They were charged with aggravated burglary and kidnapping and were being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, the newspaper reported.

For the Amish, having one's beard or hair cut off is considered degrading and shameful to the individual.

While the arrests were expected to help calm community fears, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply owner Ralph Spilarlieri told WJW that weapon sales were up as families looked to defend themselves.

"We've had quite a panic in the area," he said. "Our firearms sales seem to have taken an increase. Ammunition sales have gone up. We have sold out of mace three times this week. We've had quite a few cameras that we have sold for people to put on their property."

Click here for more on the story from the Wheeling Intelligencer

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