Inmate faces charge of heroin causing death.

May 20, 2016


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 35-year-old Hart man currently lodged in the Muskegon Correctional Facility faces up to life in prison for a charge of delivery of heroin causing death following the Dec. 8, 2015 death of a 39-year-old Hart woman.

Anthony Werner Priese was arraigned in 78th District Court following an investigation by the State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT).

Jami O’Leary was found deceased at approximately 6:41 a.m. Dec. 8, 2015, at 202 Dryden Street in the City of Hart, according to Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

Priese, who has a lengthy criminal history, is being charged as a fourth-offense habitual offender. Most recently, he was convicted of felonies of larceny in a building; forgery; and uttering and publishing in Oceana County’s 27th Circuit Court. He was sentenced by Judge Anthony A. Monton last February to a minimum of one-and-a-half years in prison. Priese testified that he stole someone’s personal checks and cashed them at the Rothbury Tavern last fall.

During sentencing, Monton cited Priese’s long criminal record including five felony and 16 misdemeanor convictions, along with a juvenile record. He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 18 months to 14 years and a concurrent term of 18 months to four years.

According to the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS), his earliest release date is Aug. 17, 2017. Priese had earlier stints in prison for convictions of larceny in building in Muskegon County and illegal sale/use of a financial transaction device and delivery/manufacture of a narcotic or cocaine less than 50 grams in Oceana County.

A preliminary conference in the heroin case is set for May 31 at 3 p.m. Priese’s bail was set at $25,000/cash/surety.

Editor’s Note: The wrong year of the victim’s date of birth was initially provided by a source due to a typographical error. O’Leary was 39 years old at the time of her death — not 19 years old — as we had initially been told. 

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