A prison inmate serving life for a 1998 murder in Peach Bottom will not get back $910 that he claimed was taken illegally from his prison account.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday that Jeffrey Neal Saxberg is not entitled to the funds, taken for fines and costs regarding his case, because he filed suit too late.
Saxberg was convicted in 1999 of first-degree murder for fatally shooting his stepson, William Phillips, during an argument between Phillips’ mother and Saxberg, according to court documents.
Saxberg claims, in his suit against the state Department of Corrections and Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, that upon his incarceration money was withdrawn from his account – even though that wasn’t in compliance with a sentencing order.
The Department of Corrections, in response, argued that Saxberg first made his claim 10 years after the money was withdrawn, exceeding the statute of limitations.
On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Court filed a 10-page opinion dismissing Saxberg’s claim.
In February 1998, Saxberg shot the 36-year-old Phillips twice inside Phillips’ mother’s home. The mother and Saxberg were in an argument that day, and the mother summoned Phillips into the house from outside. That’s when Saxberg shot him near a bar area of the home.
A year later, a local jury convicted Saxberg, now 53.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman prosecuted the case. He introduced the jury to a sign Saxberg had posted within steps of where Phillips was shot. It read:
“No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.”
Pennsylvania State Police filed charges in the case.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decides issues dealing with administrative appeals. The court is on a similar level as the state Superior Court, which decides civil and criminal appeals.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright