Judge denies motions to dismiss charges against DeForest man accused of attempted homicide

MADISON, Wis. — A Dane County judge on Tuesday denied a pair of motions to dismiss charges against a DeForest man who was arrested outside the home of a former classmate and is accused of planning to kill her and her family.

The public defender for 19-year-old Gabriel Savage filed the motions, arguing prosecutors did not do enough to prove he intended to harm the woman and her family, and that alleged plans laid out in a journal should be protected speech under the First Amendment and did not prove intent.

Judge David Conway ruled the district attorney’s office did provide enough probable cause to proceed with the case, and also denied the motion that tried to argue the journal should have been protected under the First Amendment.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, the suspected manifesto had Savage’s name on the cover twice and began with the words,” You must all be wondering why I did this, well I will tell you why” and detailed a scenario in which he would drive to the former classmate’s house, shoot and kill her family, rape her, rape her 14-year-old sister, then kill himself while laying next to the former classmate’s body and holding her hand “like Romeo and Juliet.”

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After the judge ruled, the court continued with a preliminary hearing for Savage’s new charges as a result of what was found in the journal — four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, a count of attempted first-degree sexual assault, and a count of attempted first-degree sexual assault of a person under the age of 16. An investigator in the case testified during the hearing, detailing what was found inside the notebook with Savage’s name on it.

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Savage was briefly released from jail last month after his family was able to pool together enough money to pay his initial cash bond of $10,000, but he was re-arrested soon after on the new charges after investigators had been alerted about the notebook.

Savage’s next appearance in court will be for an arraignment, which is scheduled for July 15.