Man sentenced to life for Byron Twp homicide

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-15 18:28:35-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — One of the people involved with the murder of a man last year in Byron Township was sentenced today.

Roger Alan Davis, 44, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Richard Priebe last November.  He was found guilty of first degree murder – felony and premeditated – armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and second degree arson. He was charged as a fourth-time habitual offender.

Two other people involved – John Mark Liebek and Angie Marie Smith – were also charged.

Left: Smith, right: Liebek

Liebek, 45, was sentenced on October 1st to between 30-45 years in prison. He plead guilty to armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Online records show that he has been released.

Smith, 39, was also charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. She plead guilty and is awaiting her sentencing on November 12.

Priebe was found dead when officials responded to a house fire on Jonquil Avenue SW in Byron Township last November. It was determined that he had died from a knife wound to the neck before the fire started.

Court documents detail what investigators believe happened inside Priebe’s home the night he was killed. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department wrote that Smith admitted to being inside the home at the time Priebe was killed and that she watched Davis cut Priebe’s throat several times.

Richard Priebe

A person from Priebe’s neighborhood, who chose not to be identified, said that Priebe was physically disabled. He believed that it made Priebe an easy target.

“The one leg was much smaller than the other and his right arm was probably pretty useless to him as well. There was no way he could defend himself,” neighbor said.

Priebe was 50 when he died.