John Seewer

CLEVELAND: An Amish woman says she and brothers cut the hair of her parents in Ohio to help them get to heaven.

The woman tells jurors hearing the hate crimes trial of 16 members of a breakaway Amish group that her siblings had been worried that their parents were drifting away from their religion.

She says they piled into a van and drove two hours last October to take her fatherís hair and beard and her motherís hair to help them.

Prosecutors say what happened in five hair-cuttings in eastern Ohio last fall amounted to hate crimes because they were motivated solely by religious disagreements. The government says the suspects targeted the hair and beards of Amish people because of its spiritual significance in the faith.