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Man erupts in court during his sentencing

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Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County man scheduled for sentencing Friday became combative in the courtroom of Judge Steve Leskinen, swearing and offering to fight a tipstaff.

Joseph H. Savage, 33, of West Leisenring submitted guilty pleas on Jan. 8 to a combination of charges stemming from four separate incidents.

“I do not accept this plea. I would like to go back to where I came from ... to prison. I do not want representation by a public defender,” Savage said.

“I will say it very, very nicely. I would like to go back to where I came from. I am done talking. I want to go back right now,” Savage said, rising from his seat.

“Let's give him his sentence,” Leskinen said from the bench.

Savage began yelling, demanding that his handcuffs be removed.

As the tipstaff and four security guards surrounded him, Savage swore at them and District Attorney Jack Heneks.

Savage continued to yell as the guards escorted him out of the courtroom.

“You won't go home today (if) you come this way (expletive),” he yelled at the tipstaff.

Leskinen sentenced Savage in absentia to the agreed-upon prison term of 12 12 to 25 years.

Savage will be evaluated by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, Leskinen said.

According to court records, Savage was charged in August with aggravated indecent assault of a 9-year-old girl in Uniontown.

He was charged with indecent exposure and corruption of minors after he allegedly exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl in North Union between August 2011 and April of last year.

While awaiting an October preliminary hearing on those charges, Savage allegedly damaged a secure room at the office of District Judge Wendy Dennis.

Following that incident, state trooper James Pierce stated that, “Savage became enraged and started striking and slamming his body into the walls and door.”

He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of criminal mischief.

In October, state police charged Savage with terroristic threats after he allegedly sent letters to Pierce and told him “that he is not safe. Period.”

Court records show Savage told an investigating trooper that “he just wants a fair fight and for Pierce to get into the cell with him.”

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or

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