A man has been ordered to trial on charges of robbing and assaulting three elderly Mennonite sisters last year in central Pennsylvania in what police called a hate crime.
The (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era says Dereck Taylor Holt, 22, waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Lancaster County on almost two dozen charges including felony aggravated assault, robbery, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and felony ethnic intimidation.
Holt appeared in the Ephrata courtroom to sign paperwork but said nothing. The sisters, who range in age from 84 to 90, were not present.
Authorities allege that Holt punched, kicked and shocked the victims with a stun gun and vandalized their Clay Township home Dec. 14, railing against their religion and damaging their Bible. The victims were hospitalized after the attack.
"This is a hate crime," Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Chief David Steffen told Lancaster Online at the time of the incidents.
"They suffered multiple electrical shocks, were incapacitated and left," Steffen told the newspaper. "They were unable to move for a long period of time. That could have led to bad things like blood clots and positional asphyxia."