Pa. man goes to prison for assaulting 3 Mennonites

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm •  Published: August 22, 2013

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man convicted of robbing and assaulting three elderly Mennonite sisters has been sentenced to 12 to 40 years in prison.

The Lancaster County sentencing judge Thursday said 22-year-old Dereck Taylor Holt is a danger to the community. Holt will get psychiatric treatment in prison.

Authorities say Holt pretended to be an insurance salesman to get inside the Clay Township home in December, then bound the 85- to 91-year-old victims, hit them with a stun gun, sprayed their home with household chemicals and left them for dead.

Mennonites share a common heritage with the Amish but are generally more assimilated into mainstream culture than the Amish, who shun modern life. Investigators initially believed the sisters were targeted because of their religion, but charges of ethnic intimidation were dropped.