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AUSTINTOWN Judge orders Saadey to begin his sentence



Published: Tue, April 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The felon had a firearm and is on a suicide watch.

By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- A federal judge's ruling most likely will ensure that Russell J. Saadey Jr., who has started a 55-month prison sentence for case-fixing, won't serve additional jail time if convicted of domestic violence.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. O'Malley revoked Saadey's bond on case-fixing charges Monday afternoon and ordered him to start serving his federal sentence. Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains said that under Ohio guidelines, a sentence for misdemeanor domestic violence most likely would be concurrent with a federal prison sentence.

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor domestic violence is six months in jail. Saadey pleaded innocent to the charge Monday and is scheduled to appear at a pre-trial hearing May 20.

Police reports

Police reports show that Saadey, 47, was arrested about 10 p.m. Sunday after a fight with his wife, Joy S. Saadey, 42, at their Benton Avenue home. The fight quickly escalated, with Saadey grabbing a loaded .38-caliber revolver and being restrained by several family members, police said.

A neighbor of the Saadeys said there aren't many crimes in the area and residents rarely socialize with one another.

Federal law states that a convict out on bond cannot possess a weapon. Judge O'Malley ordered Saadey taken into custody for medical treatment and evaluation for future treatment. She also placed him on suicide watch.

Saadey's 19-year-old son, Russell III, who was home during the fight, told police he believed his father was going to use the gun on himself. Joy Saadey said she was not sure who the target was but indicated her husband had shown signs of wanting to take his life.

Sentenced Friday

At the time, Saadey was free on bond while the federal Bureau of Prisons decided where he should report to begin his sentence. He was sentenced on case-fixing charges Friday.

Bill Edwards, first assistant U.S. attorney, said Saadey would be held in a facility near Cleveland until the federal government decides where he should serve his sentence. Judge O'Malley also ruled that Saadey can't serve his sentence in a facility with a witness who testified against him.

Saadey was convicted in October of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, filing three false income tax returns and submitting five false credit card applications. The charges related to case-fixing in the mid-1990s when Saadey served as an investigator for then-county Prosecutor James A. Philomena, now in a federal prison.

Edwards added that time spent in medical evaluation most likely would count toward Saadey's sentence.

"He is, in effect, serving his sentence," Edwards said, added that the U.S. attorney's office is considering charging Saadey with breaking federal laws prohibiting felons from possessing guns.

A conviction on a federal gun possession charge would carry a considerably longer sentence than a misdemeanor domestic violation, Gains said.

Arraignment was set

Saadey was slated to be arraigned on a domestic violence charge at 1 p.m. Monday in Mahoning County Court in Austintown. This morning, police contacted federal officials to discuss how the domestic violence charge could affect Saadey's federal sentence.

About 2:15 p.m., rumors began to circulate in the courtroom that Saadey had been taken to Cleveland by federal marshals. Edwards said marshals picked up Saadey between 12:30 and 1 p.m. in front of the Upstairs Lounge on Mahoning Avenue. The lounge is owned by Saadey's brother.

Soon after he heard the rumors, Assistant County Prosecutor Ken Cardinal asked Judge David D'Apolito to issue a warrant charging Saadey with failing to appear in court. D'Apolito, however, said he'd give Saadey until the end of the court day to enter a plea by fax.

At 3:55 p.m., Cardinal received a fax from David J. Betras, one of Saadey's lawyers, stating that his client would plead innocent. As a result, the warrant was not issued.




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