The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat has reported that Michael George, owner of Comics World and organizer of the Pittsburgh Comic-Con, has waived extradition to Michigan, where he faces charges for the murder of his wife 17 years ago.
As Newsarama reported on Aug. 7, George was arrested in Pennsylvania but was to be extradited to Michigan. According to the latest report, Michigan authorities have charged George with first- and second-degree murder and a weapons violation in the execution-style killing of his then-wife, Barbara Marie George, on July 13, 1990, in the back area of the comics shop he owned at the time north of Detroit. According to reports, the 32-year-old woman died from a single, close-range gunshot to the head from a semi-automatic handgun after she closed the comics shop, also called Comics World, to prepare for a surprise birthday party for her husband. Reports also indicate $30,000 worth of comics were stolen at the time.
George’s attorney, Tim Leventry, said George decided to fight the charges in Michigan after receiving documents about the case from prosecutors. From the article:
“No information in those documents, we believe, suggests any form of homicide,” Leventry said.
“We want to get Mr. George to Michigan as quickly as possible to have a preliminary hearing.”
George is expected to be transported to Michigan in 10 days to two weeks, Somerset County District Attorney Jerry Spangler said.
The article goes on to quote Thomas Eleinko, assistant prosecuting attorney for Macomb Co., Mich., who said that George “has no bona fide alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the shooting.” The prosecutor also alleges the couple had an unhappy marriage, and that George received $125,000 in life-insurance proceeds as well as $13,000 in other benefits. A similar report from The Associated Press says that prosecutors are alleging “the motive was an extramarital affair and a six-figure insurance policy.”
Shortly after his wife’s murder, George relocated to Pennsylvania where he and his wife, Renee’, founded the Pittsburgh Comicon, which celebrated its 14th anniversary in April.