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For Immediate Release
June 7, 2019
JURY FINDS THREE DEFENDANTS GUILTY OF PRE-MEDITATED MURDER
MOUNT CLEMENS, MI – Today, 875 days after the brutal death of Julii Johnson, a Macomb County Jury found Defendants Marcie Griffin, George Rider and Eric Gibson guilty of first degree premeditated murder. Eric Gribson was also convicted of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. All three first-degree murder convictions carry mandatory life without parole sentences. July 31st, 2019 is the date set for Sentencing before the Honorable Joseph Toia.
Victim, Julii Johnoson, was living near 12 and Mound Rd. in Warren with her boyfriend of two years, Jim Terrell Lattner. Lattner was the father of two children with Marcie Griffin. Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith stated, “This entire murder came about because of one woman’s enraged jealousy!”
Marcie had arranged for the killing of Julii Johnson. Marcie enlisted her new boyfriend George Rider, who recruited his associate Eric Gibson to carry out the murder. On Friday, January 13, 2017, Gibson was driven to the scene by Rider. Rider parked his Nissan Pathfinder in the nearby LA Fitness parking lot on Mound Road, north of 12 Mile. Gibson snuck into the neighborhood, through a nature trail, onto Jim Lattner’s street, Bergway Trail. As Ms. Johnson exited her boyfriend’s condo to go to her vehicle, Gibson shot her 7 times, killing her in cold blood at approximately 7:30 AM.
After the killing, Gibson fled the scene, ditching his gloves along with his Smith and Wesson 9 MM handgun in the weeds along the nature trail on his way back to Rider’s vehicle in the LA Fitness parking lot.
Assistant Prosecutor Jurij Fedorak conducted the trial with Sergeant Dan Bozek, Sergeant Charles Rushton and Officer Brandon Roy of the Warren PD. Together, over 300 exhibits were entered into evidence by the people. One of the most critical pieces of evidence introduced by the prosecution was a text message exchange between Marcie and Rider two hours after the murder, which illustrated the conspiracy:
Rider stated, “Good morning sunshine, today is a beautiful day. Friday the 13th”
Marcie: “LOL . . .”
Rider: “I hope you understand!”
Marcie: “Evrythg bout I undrsantd.”
Prosecutor Smith continued, “Today, our entire staff is grateful to the jury for carefully examining the evidence and delivering justice to Julii Johnson and bringing some sense of peace to her family. A special thank you for the remarkable investigation done by Warren PD and their tireless efforts on this case.”