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Who is Leslie Burton Bushong?

At 46, the Ishpeming resident has been to the state penitentiary for a sex offense. Now he’s accused of murder.

January 12, 2010
By CLAIRE ABENT Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE -A police report obtained by The Mining Journal reveals more details regarding a homicide last week in Ishpeming.

Leslie Burton Bushong, 46, of Ishpeming was arraigned Monday on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Wayne Perry, 51, also of Ishpeming. Second-degree murder is a charge that does not involve premeditation and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Police responded to a 911 call on Jan. 5 at 6:51 p.m. reporting an unresponsive male. Perry was not breathing and did not have a pulse, according to the report from the Ishpeming Police Department. He was taken to Bell Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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Originally, the cause of Perry's death was thought to be an overdose, but an autopsy on Jan. 7 at Marquette General Hospital showed significant bruising to the back of the head that was hidden by his hair, according to the report. The report also said that a significant subdural hematoma was also found upon opening the cranial cavity.

According to the police report, Bushong confessed Friday to kicking and striking Perry several times while Perry was unconscious on the living room floor of Bushong's residence at 320 W. Johnson St. The report said that the beating was allegedly in retaliation for an earlier beating which Perry gave him that day.

A witness interviewed on the night of the 911 call said that Bushong and Perry got in a fight on Jan. 5, and Perry laid down on the living room floor afterward and passed out. The witness said she checked on Perry every 5 to 10 minutes and after a while found that he was not breathing.

Another witness, quoted in the same report, said that an intoxicated Bushong went to the upstairs of the home where Perry was sleeping and then threw him down the stairs. After sitting on a couch for 20 minutes, Perry passed out on the living room floor. The same witness said Bushong got up and began kicking Perry in the head. Then Bushong kicked Perry periodically for the next two hours, the witness said.

According to court records, Bushong has a number of prior convictions. He is listed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for three separate convictions, all of them in the 25th Circuit Court in Marquette. In January 1988 he was convicted on two counts of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct second degree. He was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation.

Both victims were females under the age of 13 at the time of the incident.

In May of 1991 he was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. The victim was a female, 3 years of age at the time of the incident.

Bushong was sentenced to a period of a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 10 years. He was released from prison in February 2000.

Court records also state that Bushong was convicted of assault and battery in April 1988 and February 1990, use of marijuana in December 1986, and was sentenced for operating while under the influence of liquor in October 1986.

Bushong is currently being held in the Marquette County Jail on a $500,000 bond. A preliminary trial date has been set for 3 p.m. Jan. 25.

Chief assistant prosecutor Matt Weise, who will be handling the case, said that Perry and Bushong knew each other and that Perry was a guest in Bushong's home at the time of the incident.

"This was a specific incident, an isolated incident. An excessive amount of alcohol was being abused around the time when this happened," Weise said.



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