Share This Page

Somerset man who left dead body apologizes to victim's kin

| Friday, April 12, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

A Somerset County man apologized Friday to the family of a 53-year-old Friedens man whose body he moved out of his apartment and abandoned in a truck after the victim fatally overdosed last Jan. 23.

Michael T. Moore, 37, also of Friedens, made his apology to the family of Frankie A. Sass shortly after he waived a preliminary hearing Friday before District Judge Kenneth Johnson on charges of making terroristic threats, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and intimidation of a witness.

Under a tentative plea bargain, Moore will plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of abuse of a corpse and face a potential penalty of up to two years in prison when he is formally sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge John Cascio later this spring, public defender William Carroll said.

“I want to apologize for my actions and I wish I could change them. I'm truly sorry,” Moore said.

“You'll remain in my prayers,” he added.

State police in Somerset accuse Moore of dragging Frankie A. Sass, who weighed 350 pounds, out of Moore's Stoystown Road apartment and into Sass' pickup truck after Moore's girlfriend, Angela Hutzell, discovered him dead there of a drug overdose.

Moore is accused of then calling another friend, George Bittinger, to assist him. Moore then drove Sass' pickup truck to another area of the borough, wiped his prints from the truck and abandoned the body there, witnesses told police.

Sass's body was discovered the next day. Neither Bittinger nor Hutzell was charged.

Carroll said his client decided to accept the plea deal to put the incident behind him.

On Thursday, Carroll said Moore was sentenced by Cascio to serve a four- to 23-month sentence following his guilty plea to tampering with evidence in an unrelated case.

In that case, Moore is accused of flushing quantities of marijuana and cocaine down a toilet as police were searching his apartment during a drug raid on Feb. 13, 2012.

Johnson denied a request to reduce Moore's bond from $30,000 while he awaits sentencing in the recent case. He remains in the Somerset County Jail.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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.