CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A man who is accused of making threats inside a church in Butler County appeared in court today.
Edwin Leech’s charges were waived to court, but he has to undergo a mental evaluation.
Leech, 43, is accused of causing a disturbance inside the sanctuary of the Victory Family Church during a morning prayer service in Cranberry Township.
Police say he declared he was a “second messiah,” and when he was being escorted out of the building, he allegedly made a statement about how this is how mass shootings happen.
Leech told KDKA today he was bullied by the church security guard.
He said he didn’t mean any harm.
“It was never a threat,” he said. “I was trying to educate people.”
“I was experiencing a crisis due to commercialized religion. The teachings of that church are far away from the true teachings of scripture.”
He is charged with terroristic threats, as well as disorderly conduct and defiant trespassing.
He was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
“He has some mental health issued that need to be addressed. Fortunately, he doesn’t have firearms,” said defense attorney Michael DeRiso.
Leech will be housed in the Butler County Jail until a bed can be found for him in an inpatient mental health facility.
“Understandably a scary situation, but he will be getting the help he needs and hopefully we can avoid him being a crisis again,” DeRiso said.