Retailer Michael George gets life sentence for wife's murder

Former retailer and convention organizer Michael George was sentenced this morning to life in prison for the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara in their Clinton Township, Michigan, comic store.

George was found guilty a second time on Oct. 11 after his 2008 conviction was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct and the release of potential new evidence. Prosecutors contend that George shot his wife in the head in the back room of their store July 13, 1990, and then staged the killing to look like a robbery so he could collect money from an insurance policy and a shared estate, and start over with another woman.

The Detroit News reports that 51-year-old Michael George, who maintains he was asleep on his mother's sofa at the time of the shooting, was also ordered to pay restitution of $130,000 to John Hancock Life Insurance Co.

A tearful Michael George, sitting in a wheelchair, addressed the court, saying, "Something will be found. Someone will come forward. I have never harmed a woman in my life. Let's not forget no one saw me there — no one." He plans to appeal the conviction.

Barbara George's sister and brother also spoke, directing their comments to Michael George as well as his daughters Tracie and Michelle, who supported their father but were absent from the courtroom today at his request.

"We think about you all the time," Christine Ball said, reading from a prepared statement. "Your mother lost everything. She didn't get to hold you and watch you grow up. I know we sit at opposite sides of the courtroom, but we have and always will love you."

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