Fayette man, 33, labeled sexual predator
By Liz Zemba
Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A Fayette County man who was 15 when he and another teenager stabbed an elderly man to death has been declared a sexually violent predator for crimes police said he committed after he was released from juvenile custody.
Judge Steve Leskinen on Monday imposed the designation on Joseph Howard Savage, 33, of West Leisenring, after a Megan's Law hearing. The designation requires Savage to register quarterly with police and to attend lifetime counseling, among other requirements.
Savage is serving 121⁄2 to 25 years for assaulting two 10-year-old girls in 2011 and 2012 in Uniontown and West Leisenring, according to court records. Leskinen imposed the sentences in January.
Herbert Hayes, an investigator with the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, testified Monday that Savage meets the criteria to be deemed a sexually violent predator, in part because he has a violent criminal history that began when he was a juvenile.
Hayes testified that Savage was only 15 when he and a 14-year-old boy “committed a violent murder” during a 1994 home invasion on Main Street in West Leisenring. Hayes' remarks prompted an outburst from Savage, who during his sentencing hearing in January had to be removed from the courtroom when he began yelling and cursing during the proceedings.
“How do you know it was a violent murder?” Savage said from his seat next to his public defender, Benjamin Goodwin. “Was you there? I stabbed him two times.”
Walter Magda, 77, bled to death when he was stabbed at least five times in his West Leisenring home, according to a Fayette County coroner's report. He was discovered Dec. 1, 1994, in his house, but police believe he was killed on Nov. 30, Hayes said.
Hayes said Savage used a knife to stab Magda when Magda confronted him and his accomplice during a home invasion. The 14-year-old accomplice struck Magda with a board that had a nail in it, Hayes testified.
Hayes said Savage stabbed the man several times. When the man fell to the floor but was not dead, Savage stabbed him several more times, Hayes testified.
The teens made off with $85 in cash and the victim's vehicle, according to court documents. Hayes said Savage was adjudicated delinquent and housed in a juvenile detention facility until he was released upon turning 21.
As an adult, Savage was sentenced in 2003 to four to eight years in prison in cases unrelated to the sex assaults on the two girls, Hayes said. In one of the cases, he was convicted of using a knife to rob a store clerk, Hayes testified.
Hayes testified that Savage has a “long criminal history” and suffers from an incurable antisocial personality disorder. He said it is likely he will commit crimes again when he is released from prison.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Downtown Connellsville had it all in the 1940s and 1950s
- Fayette budget may soon be approved
- South Connellsville to hold Christmas celebration
- West Leisenring band, THE R4 PROJECT, to open for Hawthorne Heights
- Consider giving to Fayette libraries
- Connellsville native keeps arts alive in area
- Scottdale woman’s wheelchair donation helps combat her own grief
- Connellsville authority keeps sewage rates same
- Police: Possible suspect uses victim’s credit card
- Open house planned at Connellsville’s historic train station
- Museum offers tribute to Connellsville’s past