Yoder was clearing a round out of his .50-caliber muzzle-loading rifle following a hunting trip when he fired a shot into the air, authorities said. More than a mile away, Rachel Yoder was driving the buggy home from a Christmas party southwest of Canton when she was struck by the round, they said. The two are not related.
Rachel Yoder died from her wounds a day after the incident. On Tuesday Yoder pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and was given a 180-day term. The judge suspended all but a month’s worth of time, however. He also received 3 years of probation.
Yoder originally faced felony reckless homicide, but Rachel Yoder’s family did not want prosecution to pursue felony charges, which probably influenced how the case played out. Initial reports were that he could have faced several years in prison. So it seems the punishment in terms of jail time is comparatively very light. Of course jail time is not the only penalty Marion Yoder faces here.
Beard-cutting federal hate crimes trial
In other legal news, the trial of Sam Mullet and 15 members of his church for the beard and hair cutting attacks is finishing up in Cleveland. During the trial a number of witnesses took the stand for the prosecution, though none testified for the defense.
Over the two-week case the prosecution has attempted to show the attacks were religiously motivated, and to tie them to Sam Mullet. The defense has maintained that the hair cutting incidents were motivated by love for “deviant” members or forces other than the group’s leader. Jury deliberations begin today.