Judge reacts to man interrupting him mid-sentence

St. Clairsville - In Belmont County, a man being sentenced for stabbing another man in the back interrupted the judge in mid-sentence.

It happened in Judge Frank Fregiato's courtroom.

And things didn't go well for the defendant, Maurice "Breezy" Johnson of Pittsburgh.

Johnson was convicted of felonious assault.

The prosecutor said the offense took place in a Belmont County motel room in the midst of prostitution, human trafficking and robbery.

But it was the stabbing that Johnson was being sentenced for.

When he was given the opportunity to speak in his own defense, Johnson read a letter he had prepared.

"I'm not asking for mercy," Johnson concluded. "I'm not askin' for none of that. But I am askin' that, you know, it be done the way it's supposed to be done--right."

At that point, the judge thanked Johnson for his input.

Johnson was convicted of stabbing a man in the back in a Belmont County motel room.

In that room was a man with three prostitutes.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said Johnson was the women's employer.

"He was a pimp-he is a pimp--for some local girls," Fry said.

Fry said the man who engaged their services was angry afterward.

"When they were done, he believed that one of the girls had stolen about $1900 out of his pocket," Fry said. "So in response to that, he kept all three of the prostitutes in his hotel room. In other words, he wouldn't let any of them leave until he got his money back."

Fry said the girls called Johnson, who came to the room, fought with the man, and stabbed him in the back.

In the sentencing, Judge Frank Fregiato was listing Johnson's long criminal history, and Johnson took offense.

"What does that have to do with...." Johnson began.

"I'm reading now!" snapped the judge.

"I'm just saying...." continued Johnson.

"I'm reading now!"   the judge shouted."You had your time. You had your chance."

"But you said, and you're goin' on about everything else that don't have nothin' to do with it," Johnson persisted.

"It does!" the judge responded. "I look at the whole picture, Sir. I look at the whole picture. And this story is about enslaving women, which is quite clear is what the defendant was doing."

In the end, the judge gave Johnson the maximum--eight years--to be served after he serves four and a half years on federal charges.

Earlier in the hearing, after Johnson spoke the first time, Judge Fregiato said it was clear that Johnson was asking for justice, and that was exactly what he was going to give him.

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