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Dereck Holt facing trial in attack of elderly Mennonite women

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 12:10:35 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 05 2013 04:47:02 PM CST

A Lancaster County man will stand trial on assault charges in the attack of three elderly Mennonite women inside their home in Clay Township.

EPHRATA, Pa. -

A Lancaster County man will stand trial on assault charges in the attack of three elderly Mennonite sisters inside their home in Clay Township.

Dereck Holt appeared before a judge in Ephrata on Tuesday, but he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Holt posed as an insurance salesman to get inside the women's home in the 300 block of Indiantown Road in December, police said.

Once inside, Holt, 22, allegedly struck two of the women multiple times and repeatedly shocked them with a stun gun. The third woman came home during the ordeal and was also attacked, said police, who noted that Holt then poured household chemicals around the house.

"We are extremely fortunate and thankful that we're not talking about three counts of homicide," said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman at the time of Holt's arrest on Dec. 17.

One of the women suffered a heart attack, another suffered a broken shoulder, and the other had bleeding on her brain, police said. The sisters range in age of 84 to 90.

Holt is a former member of the Mennonite faith, and the attack on the women, whom he did not know, was a result of personal anger and hostility he had toward the community, police said.