Appeal denied in ‘comic book murder’ case

By: Nico Rubello | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published May 24, 2013


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Michigan appeals court upheld a murder conviction for the man found guilty of the 1990 slaying of his wife at the couple’s Clinton Township comic book store.

In a court ruling published May 21, a three-judge appeals court one-by-one ruled against each of Michael George’s reasons that the conviction be overturned.

George, now 52, had appealed the conviction based on what the defense claimed were trial errors and insufficient evidence to find him guilty.

George is serving a life sentence without parole after two juries convicted him of shooting his wife, Barbara George, in July 1990 in the back room of the former Comics World store in Clinton Township.

The murder resided in cold case status for 17 years, before investigators dug it up in 2007.

With little hard evidence to go on, Macomb County prosecutors relied on a circumstantial case that alleged George had shot Barbara George because he was having an affair, wanted out of his marriage and was looking to collect an insurance payout.

The defense, however, maintained that the murder had happened during a robbery, and attacked the investigation for not pursuing other leads. George’s alibi was that he was at his mother’s home at the time of the murder.

A jury first convicted George in 2008, but the court in 2010 granted George a second trial.

In October 2011, another jury returned a guilty verdict on counts of premeditated murder, a firearms felony, insurance fraud and using false pretenses.

In February 2012, the Macomb County Circuit Court denied the defense’s request for an acquittal and new trial.