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Court orders new trial for retailer Michael George in store killing

Michael George

Michael George

Retailer Michael George, convicted in March 2008 of fatally shooting his first wife Barbara in 1990, should get a new trial, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled today.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the appellate court said Macomb County Circuit Judge James Biernat didn’t abuse his discretion when in September 2008 he determined George was entitled to a second trial after defense attorneys discovered new evidence.

Prosecutors plan to appeal today’s decision to the state Supreme Court.

Barbara George was shot in the head on July 13, 1990, while preparing a surprise birthday part for her husband at Comics World, the Clinton Township store the couple owned. Although police suspected that Michael George had killed his 32-year-old wife, the case went cold until 2007, when a detective reopened it. Prosecutors contend that Michael George staged the killing to look like a robbery so he could collect money from an insurance policy and a shared estate, and start over with another woman.

A jury found Michael George guilty in March 2008 of first-degree murder, felony firearm, insurance fraud and obtaining money from an insurance agency under false pretenses. He was sentenced to life in prison in June 2008, but Biernat set aside the conviction less than three months later, citing prosecutorial misconduct — prosecutors had shown Michael George’s mug shot to the jury — and the release of new evidence that could lead the jury to believe another person was responsible for the murder of Barbara George.

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Comments

4 Comments

This is a good decision by the appeals court. George may in fact be guilty, but from published reports it doesn’t sound like the evidence came anywhere near the “beyond reasonable doubt” threshold. In fact, based on what’s been presented, I’d say it’s impossible not to have reasonable doubts.

It’s a terrible thing to let a murderer go free, but it’s far worse to keep an innocent man imprisoned.

About time. I recognize that appellate courts run slowly, but making a decision two years later is ridiculous.

That case was chock full of misconduct on the part of the prosecutors (the mug shot was the least of their faults), and overturning the conviction was the only sane thing that’s happened with regards to the case in years. Perhaps now we can see a fair trial, should the prosecutors follow the letter of the law that they claim to uphold.

Of course, there’s never been any suggestion as to who this “other person” may be… And give the insurance policies that George took out on his wife I still think he’s probably guilty, but it is important that fair trial, following proper conduct by all parites involved, be held.

Mostly, I just love seeing that mug shot again… Never fails to amuse me.

Just finished reading “Dead But Not FOrgotten” and I agree with the Jury. If ever a man is guilty this one is. It was proben to the Jury and to me. Let this two timing wife killer stay where he is.

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