MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - A second trial got under way Wednesday for a man accused of killing his wife in a Macomb County comic book store they owned more than 20 years ago.
Michael George was convicted in 2008 of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Barbara. She was found shot to death in the couple?s Clinton Township comic book store in 1990.
But the conviction was thrown out by the judge, who pointed to prosecutorial misconduct and possible new evidence.
The defense said they had additional evidence that would have made a difference in the outcome of the first trial. It included a lost file with information on a man, now deceased, who apparently bragged about committing and getting away with murder. George was released last year and a new trial was ordered.
"There is a lack of evidence," said defense attorney Carl Marlinga.
During the course of Wednesday's hearing, Judge Mary Chrzanowski said the court received a letter from a juror's employer, a law firm, stating it would have to replace her if she were to stay on the jury for the duration of the trial.
"I find this just unbelievable on behalf of a law firm that they would have the audacity to do this," Chrzanowski said.
Employers are prohibited by law from firing employees solely because they serve on a jury.
Chrzanowski said the threat of losing her job could potentially be a distraction for the employee.
"The issue is, do we let her go and let this law firm, that's what's got me riled, rule this court with this letter?" Chrzanowski said. "I would have brought these attorneys in and probably incarcerated them all. I haven't figured out how I could do that though, legally."
George and his now wife, Renee, own a comic store in Pennsylvania. The two moved from Macomb County two years after Barbara's death.
Copyright 2003 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.