A Michigan judge on Friday ruled the Macomb County prosecutor’s office won’t be disqualified from the retrial of Michael George, the retailer and convention organizer convincted in March of killing his first wife Barbara in 1990.
Circuit Court Judge James Biernat also issued a gag order to to prevent attorneys from discussing the case outside of the courtroom.
On Sept. 12 Biernat overturned George’s jury conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct and the release of new evidence that could lead the jury to believe another person was responsible for the murder of Barbara George. The misconduct was related to the assistant prosecutor’s use of Michael George’s mug shot during closing arguments.
Defense attorneys had petitioned Biernat to disqualify Prosecutor Eric Smith and his office from the case.
Last week prosecutors filed a request for appeal of Biernat’s decision with the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Barbara George was shot in the head on July 13, 1990, in the Georges’ Clinton Township comic-book store. Prosecutors contended that Michael George 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.
Michael George remains in Macomb County Jail awaiting his new trial, which had been set to begin on Dec. 2.