The Monmouth man accused of giving a recovering drug user the heroin that killed him in 2013 risks up to 20 years in prison if convicted of strict liability for a drug induced death.

Heroin
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Michael Renna, 26, of Avon-by-the-Sea, was indicted in Freehold for the first-degree count, along with a third-degree distribution charge, related to the death of Christopher Pesce, 25, in a Rumson rehabilitation center. He remains free on bail.

According to information from the office of acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni, Renna would also be subject to New Jersey's No Early Release Act (NERA) if convicted of the first-degree charge, requiring that 85 percent of the time be served before parole consideration. The distribution charge carries a possible five-year term on conviction.

Rumson police, sent to Oxford House on the night of October 13, 2103, found Pesce's lifeless form and began the investigation. Results of the post-mortem exam ruled his death the result of acute heroin toxicity.

Investigators traced the heroin to a transaction by Renna and an acquaintance in Asbury Park on October 12. Following his arraignment, Renna's bail was set at $200,000, with no option for release on payment of 10 percent. The terms were met and bail was posted on August 25, 2014.