Margolis Law in the News: Prison ordered in armed robbery of Hartland motel

June 29, 2017

As Reported on Livingston Daily

Broderick David Savage, described as a positive, energetic, productive man of “authenticity” was sentenced Monday to at least 22 years in prison for robbing a Hartland Township motel clerk in June 2016.

Savage, who faced up to life in prison, told the court he has taken responsibility for his actions – both negative and positive – and then he thanked the court for its time and patience.

“I do maintain my innocence,” the Missouri man said about the June 4, 2016 robbery at the Best Western at 10087 M-59.

Savage was then sentenced to 20-40 years in prison for armed robbery and carjacking with a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for felony firearms. Savage also received a sentence of five years to 10 years, and four years to eight years for unlawful driving away of an automobile and felonious assault, respectively.

“I cannot permit or tolerate a situation where someone comes into our county with a pistol, takes money and property from another and not think they’re going to jail for decades,” 44th Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Hatty said.

The now-former Best Western clerk testified that Savage  pointed what appeared to be a real gun at her while demanding she open drawers. The weapon was later determined to be a broken BB gun that had been painted black.

The woman testified that Savage forced her at gunpoint to a back room where he went through her purse and stole her keys and wallet before fleeing in the clerk’s 2006 Chevrolet Impala. She said Savage also pepper sprayed her.

Two Flat Rock officers testified that, about five hours after the robbery, Savage was found wearing a mask and sitting in the stolen car in a parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy on Telegraph Road.

Savage, who told the officers his name was Seawright, told the officers he was wearing the mask “because my allergies are really bad.”

Assistant Prosecutor Scott Ehlfeldt asked the judge to sentence Savage to at least 25 years in prison for what he called “excessive” behavior that went “above and beyond” a typical armed robbery. He said the use of the pepper spray made the situation “10 times more traumatic” for the clerk.

“She doesn’t know what’s happening in that moment,” he said. “She’s blinded. She’s unable to breathe. … She doesn’t even know, at that point, if he had a real gun or if she’s going to die in that moment. …

“This isn’t an ordinary robbery. This is something that caused serious injury,” Ehlfeldt added.

Ann Arbor defense attorney Laurence Margolis painted a different picture of his client.

He said Savage, as described by family and friends, is a good man who cared for his grandmother when she began exhibiting signs of dementia. He said Savage is a positive, energetic and productive “man of authenticity,” whose life changed when his father died.

Margolis agreed that it was not a typical robbery, noting that an inoperable toy gun was used rather than a loaded real gun which creates a “lethal environment.” He said no one was placed in danger of death or grievous injury with a toy gun.