MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - A jury on Tuesday convicted a Michigan man of first-degree murder in the death of his wife in a Macomb County comic book store in 1990.
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 a judge, who pointed to prosecutorial misconduct and possible new evidence.
George was released last year and a new trial got under way in early September.
During closing arguments last week, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo said marital discord, a life insurance payout and infidelity were motives for George to kill his wife.
"Friday the 13th was really an unlucky day for Barbara George. She was murdered in her prime with two small children by her husband," Cataldo said. "In cold blood he executed Barbara George by putting a bullet through the top of his head."
Defense attorney Carl Marlinga said there were no truth to the prosecution's accusation.
"This is total fiction. This is as pulled out of the sky, made up. It has no basis in reality at all," Marlinga said.
The 51-year-old was also found guilty of insurance fraud and possessing a firearm in a felony.
First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
George has since remarried and moved from Macomb County two years after Barbara's death. He has two daughters from his marriage to Barbara.
Joe Kowynia, Barbara's brother, said his family is still saddened by the situation but pleased with the verdict.
"There's no way that a jury is going to get this wrong twice. I feel really bad for my nieces, but this is something that's been long overdue. This man should have been in jail the first time," Kowynia said. "There was no additional evidence that I saw at this trial. So, he really shouldn't have had this trial."
George had been out on bail during the course of the trial, but he was taken into custody after Tuesday's hearing.
Copyright 2011 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.