Jason Priest formally charged with threatening a public official; bond raised to $31,000
QUINCY — Jason Priest spent the weekend in the Adams County Jail and was formally charged Monday with threatening a public official.
Priest appeared in Adams County Circuit Court before Judge Robert Adrian Monday afternoon after Judge Tad Brenner recused himself on Friday. Priest allegedly said he was going to “take him out” referring to Brenner as the court was weighing a larger bond because of a new series of antics conducted by Priest.
Priest now faces a charge of threatening a public official, which is a Class 3 Felony with a potential sentence of 2 to 5 years.
Priest, 50, also heard the two other new charges filed against him Monday: Two Class C disorderly conduct misdemeanors. He allegedly yelled, “Brownies, they are coming for you next,” at two African American minors outside a Quincy school on Wednesday. He also allegedly stood in front of the south entrance of the Adams County Courthouse and yelled vulgarities and obscenities at a woman on Thursday.
Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Parker asked for $50,000 bond and $5,000 for the felony. Assistant Public Defender Sarah Lucey asked for reductions to $15,000 and $1,000 respectively, saying Priest was expressing his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and his words were “non-threatening”.
Adrian set bond at $30,000 for the felony charge and $1,000 for the misdemeanor charges. Priest must post 10 percent cash, or $3,100, to be released from jail.
So here is the full litany of charges against Priest, which are all allegations at this time:
- March 2: Charged with operating an uninsured motor vehicle and failure to possess a valid driver’s license at 28th and Chestnut.
- May 27: Charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. Was standing naked on the porch of a residence at 2309 State and yelling at passing traffic.
- May 27: Charged with trespassing at Blessing Hospital.
- June 1: Charged with one count of reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of disorderly conduct, both Class C misdemeanors. Entered the 2300 block of State Street and impeded traffic, causing vehicles to swerve to miss him and drive into oncoming lane of traffic. Also was standing in street obstructing traffic and entered street in front of vehicles while not being in a crosswalk. While Priest was in the street, he put his hands down his underwear and manipulated his genitals.
- June 2: Charged with criminal damage to government property, a Class 3 felony. Damaged a phone kiosk in a holding cell in the Adams County Jail.
- June 2: Emergency stalking no contact order filed by Gina Veneris; summons served same day. (Order later dismissed on June 22).
- July 27: Charged with making an improper left turn on a bicycle at the intersection of 12th and York.
- Aug. 8: Emergency stalking no contact order filed by Ryan Schnack on behalf of Quincy Mayor Mike Troup; summons issued on Aug. 10.
- Aug. 11: Charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, both Class C misdemeanors. Should the word “f**k” repeatedly at one person and knowingly exposed his genitals to another person.
- Aug. 11: Charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. Yelled obscenities and vulgarities at two people in front of the Adams County Courthouse.
- Aug. 13: Charged with failing to have a lamp on a bicycle at nighttime at the intersection of Fifth and Hampshire.
- Aug. 24: Charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. Yelled “Brownies, they are coming for you next” at two African American minors.
- Aug. 25: Charged with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. Stood in front of the south entrance of the Adams County Courthouse and yelled vulgarities and obscenities at a woman.
- Aug. 26: Charged with threatening a public official, a Class 3 felony for yelling to Judge Brenner that he was going to “take him out”.
Following Brenner’s recusal, Priest told him in court Friday, “There is no way that would come out of my mouth, and you know it. I’m a professional protester, a lobbyist.”
Priest, who was much more reserved in his orange jumpsuit on Monday, followed that up by saying he’s “never spoken out of turn. They aren’t threats they are just words.”
Priest is scheduled to be back in Adams County Circuit Court Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Amy Lannerd.
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