Man convicted four years after girlfriend found dead along banks of Flint River

John Barritt convicted in slaying of Amy Wienski

A person in handcuffs. (WDIV)
A person in handcuffs. (WDIV) (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

FLINT, Mich. – A man has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend and trying to cover up the murder more than four years after she was found dead along the banks of the Flint River, officials said.

Amy Wienski, 44, of Homer Township, was found dead May 4, 2015, along the banks of the Flint River at Lyman Street and Riverside Drive in Flint, according to authorities.

A day earlier, police found a red Fiat that had been rented by Wienski torched at Carpenter Road and Fulton Street in Mt. Morris Township, officials said.

While investigating the car fire, Mt. Morris police called the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office for help, authorities said. Calhoun County detectives went to Wienski’s house in Homer Township to interview her, but she was nowhere to be found, police said.

During the search of Wienski’s home, John Edward Barritt, 50, of Forest Township, showed up and was asked to go to the department for an interview, deputies said.

Barritt was dating and living with Wienski at the time, police said.

Barritt was taken to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department in a police cruiser and questioned for about 90 minutes, officials said. At the end of his interview, Barritt was arrested and turned over to police in Genesee County, police said.

He was later charged with murdering Wienski by Prosecutor David Leyton. Barritt’s attorney filed a pretrial motion to suppress his client’s statements to Calhoun County deputies because Barritt hadn’t been given his Miranda warning, according to authorities.

The case twice went to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which ruled the statements made during that interview must be suppressed.

Despite the suppression of those comments, Barritt was found guilty by a jury. He was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree arson, fourth-degree arson and tampering with evidence.

“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict in this case,” Leyton said. “Although we felt defendant’s statements should have been admissible at trial, we were able to sustain our burden of proof without them and see justice for Amy Wienski in the end.”

Barritt is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4. He will be sentenced as a four-time habitual felony offender and faces up to life in prison, officials said.

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