Pro and Con in Michael George Retrial

Here’s the latest news in the retrial of comic store owner Michael George for first-degree murder. A worker in the nail salon in the same strip mall as George’s Michigan Comics World store testified yesterday that the couple argued more violently on the day of Barbara George’s death than they had previously:

Kim Koliba heard Michael and Barbara George argue nearly three dozen times during the course of her employment at a nail salon near the Georges’ Clinton Township comic book store. But the couple’s argument about money that Koliba heard July 13, 1990 — hours before Barbara George was killed at the store — was different. “It was much louder. He was much angrier. It seemed much more violent,” Koliba testified Monday.

That same day, an employee at the comic store spoke of George’s apparent lack of concern over his wife’s death:

Michael Benson, a comic book store employee, described the Georges’ relationship as one in which Michael George was “kinda the boss” and his wife “kinda the subservient wife.” … Benson said Michael George flirted with female customers. Benson testified that Michael George … made some comments about the money he would get from the insurance company, saying, “Geez, should I get a new, bigger store or a sports car of some sort?”

On the defense side, they had read into evidence testimony by Fred Hodgson from the first trial. (Link via Robot6.) Hodgson lives outside of Michigan and wasn’t available to appear. In his earlier testimony, he

described one of two suspicious characters wearing a fake beard and mustache outside a Clinton Township comic book store minutes before the murder of Barbara George. … Hodgson said he saw a “slightly built” young male or woman with pretend facial hair and possibly a hood and sunglasses while they approached Comics World. … “What caught my eye was they were dressed in disguise … a big bushy fake beard and mustache. … It was obviously fake.”

That’s just weird, but I find it strange as well that testimony is allowed to be included when the witness can’t be cross-examined. I guess they can read that from the first trial into this trial’s record as well.

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