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Carbon man given state prison term in domestic assault incident

Published January 14. 2014 05:00PM

A Carbon County man was sentenced to a state prison term on Monday for a domestic assault incident.

Joseph Muse, 23, Weissport, was sentenced to a total term of 12 to 36 months in a state correction facility by Judge Steven R. Serfass. Muse previously entered a guilty plea in the case.

Muse was arrested on April 30, 2013, after state police at Lehighton responded to 401 Bridge St., Weissport, for a domestic incident involving Muse and his girlfriend, identified as Tracy Ann Morey.

On arrival Morey was outside the residence and told troopers she had been assaulted by Muse, who had locked himself inside the apartment.

Troopers made entry to the apartment and found Muse inside and uncooperative. He struggled with troopers during which he kicked one of them several times. A Taser was used by the officers to get him into custody.

Yesterday his defense attorney, Adam Weaver, gave the court a mental health evaluation report indicating Muse has had mental health issues since he was a child. Weaver said since his arrest that Muse has received treatment and is now medicated.

Weaver asked that Serfass sentence Muse to a county prison term, noting his client is facing a probation violation in Lehigh County.

Serfass rejected the request.

On a charge of simple assault Serfass sentenced him to serve nine to 24 months; and on a resisting arrest charge, three to 12 months with the terms running consecutively. On a charge of persistent disorderly conduct he was sentenced to serve three to six months, concurrent with the other charges.

On two summary counts of harassment he was fined a total of $600.

Serfass also ordered him to get both a drug and alcohol and mental health evaluation and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and attend anger management counseling classes.

He was given credit for 256 days spent in jail to date on the charges. He must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000.

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