WARREN (WWJ) – DNA from a dropped work glove has led to charges in the murder of a woman in Warren last month.
Julii Johnson, 34, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds outside her condo on Berghway Trail, in the Stoneridge at Heritage Village subdivision near 13 Mile and Mound, on Jan. 13. A manhunt ensued, but police couldn’t find her killer.
Detectives said a break in the case finally came in the form of a glove found on a brush-covered trail that led from an LA Fitness nearby. A deeper search of the area recovered a handgun, police said, and surveillance video from the gym parking lot then led to their suspect, 24-year-old Eric Gibson.
Lab tests, police said, were able to link Gibson’s DNA to the glove; and further investigation — which included going through phone records — uncovered a plot that involved two additional suspects
While prosecutors believe Gibson was the shooter, also charged in the case is 46-year-old Marcie Griffin of Eastpointe, who police say used to date the victim’s boyfriend. Investigators say Griffin was jealous, expressed hatred towards Johnson. She allegedly enlisted the help of Gibson and a third man, 58-year old George Rider of Huntington Woods, to pull off the murder.
“It’s really an involved case that’s pretty convoluted,” said Warren Deputy Police Commissioner Matt Nichols. “It took a lot of legwork and a lot of man hours to really buckle down and connect the dots.”
“You know, you’re looking weekends, holidays, extended hours…trying to follow up on every lead that you have,” he said.
Gibson, Griffin and Rider are each charged with first degree murder, with Gibson facing additional weapons charges. Rider and Griffin were arrest Thursday arraigned in the 37th District Court, and remanded to the Macomb County Jail without bond.
Gibson remains held in the Wayne County Jail on unrelated charges, awaiting an arraignment in this case.