Jeremy Scott Neeley, 33, had his preliminary exam set for Oct. 4 on charges of larceny in a building and unauthorized driving away of a vehicle in Van Buren Township on Aug. 15, 2016.
But, only one witness was present and she was entering the hospital for cancer surgery on Oct. 16.
34th District Court Judge Brian A. Oakley agreed with the Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor’s proposal to have half of the exam on Oct. 4, with the available witness, and the other half, with the second witness, at another time. The second half was set for at 10:30 a.m., Oct. 18, before Judge Oakley.
Neeley’s court-appointed attorney Jennipher Colthirst complained that she had been waiting for four hours for his exam to begin and since the witnesses weren’t there, the charges should be dismissed.
Judge Oakley told her this is the way he was going to do it.
Neeley was free after Judge David Parrott on Sept. 27 refused to reduce his $5,000/10% bond, but did refer him to medical services at the jail. Neeley’s attorney had told Judge Parrott that because of an accident Neeley had no fingers on his left hand and the fingers of his right hand were starting to curl up. Neeley had an appointment with a orthopedic specialist for his right hand and there was a 3-4-month waiting period to get an appointment.
Witness Patricia Ossenmacher, owner of the vehicle, was called to the stand by Prosecutor Megan Matthews. She testified that she bought the 2013 Toyota Rave for her daughter on May 27, 2016.
Under cross examination by defense attorney Colthirst, Ossenmacher testified that Neeley did not give her $300 for rent and did not have permission to live in her home in Woodbury Green. She testified that the mother of Neeley’s child lived with her and sometimes he stayed the night with his girlfriend.
When Colthirst asked if she served as Neeley’s “Sugar Mama,” Ossenmacher expressed surprise and said that wasn’t true.
She testified when she bought the car at LaFontaine for her daughter, they gave the plate and keys to him because she asked him to drive it back to her home. She said she couldn’t drive two cars at once.
She testified she left for Georgia shortly thereafter and was in jail for 28 days in Georgia. Defense attorney Colthirst asked if Ossenmacher asked her daughter to use the car as collateral for her bail and Ossenmacher said that wasn’t the case. She said her daughter filed the charges and, “She has everything on her phone.”
Ossenmacher testified that she had the car’s title with her name on it but when the car was totalled, the insurance company paid for it and she no longer had title.
“It was in my name,” Ossenmacher insisted.
VBT Police Officer Kenneth Toney is the officer in charge of the case.
Kenneth Landstrom, the suspended Van Buren Township Fire Fighter who is charged with four misdemeanors — lying to three police officers and contributing to the delinquency to a minor — in June in VBT was due for his pretrial before Judge Oakley on Oct. 4.
But, defense attorney Robert Coutts said he has yet to receive discovery (evidence) from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office. Coutts said he had requested discovery several times with no response and it turns out there is a problem with where the discovery request was sent.
Judge Oakley said he has just signed an order for discovery so that should solve that problem.
Judge Oakley reset the pretrial for Nov. 15, giving them six weeks to get the discovery.
The Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor said Landstrom has been visiting with the juvenile in the case and it was determined there had not been a no-contact order as a condition of his bond, so she asked it be added.
Coutts asked who that “no-contact” order would cover and did it include the three police officers: Officer David Champagne, Sgt. A. Smith, and Lt. Ken Floro. The Prosecutor said it would cover the girl and her biological father, but not the police officers.
Coutts said there had been a Personal Protection Order for the girl, but that has been dropped.
“He has formed a relationship with Juliana,” Coutts said of his client, noting the girl was not present in court.
The prosecutor said she has a letter from Juliana’s therapist. She said she just received the letter and it says the defendant isn’t acting in a fatherly way and there is a sexual aspect to the relationship.
Judge Oakley asked how old the girl was and Coutts said she would be 17 in a few weeks.
Judge Oakley ordered no contact except with a third person present.
“I’m splitting the baby,” he explained and noted the discovery ordered will include the letter from the therapist.
When the prosecutor responded that she just got the letter and hadn’t had time to study it, the judge said she could read it and redact whatever was necessary.
Judge Oakley said if defense attorney Coutts wants a bond review before the Nov. 15 pretrial, that could be arranged. The no-contact order is a condition of the bond.