FLINT, MI – A jury has found a Forest Township man guilty of killing a Homer Township woman whose body was found along the banks of the Flint River in 2015.
John E. Barritt, 50-years-old, was convicted of second degree murder, second-degree arson, fourth-degree arson and tampering with evidence in the slaying of Amy Wienski 44-years-old, with whom Barritt was living and dating around the time of her death.
Amy Wienski was found dead May 4th, 2015, at the bank of the Flint River at Lyman Street and Riverside Drive in Flint. A day earlier, a red Fiat car she had rented was found set on fire at Carpenter Road and Fulton Street in Mt. Morris Township.
As part of their investigation into the arson of the vehicle, the Mt. Morris Township police contacted the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office for assistance and county sheriff’s detectives went to Wienski’s home in Homer Township with plans to interview her but were unable to locate her.
While police were searching Wienski’s home, John Barritt showed up and the police asked him to go to a Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department office for an interview.
John Barritt was transported to the facility in the back of a police cruiser, questioned by detectives for about 90 minutes, but was never given his Miranda warnings at any time.
At the conclusion of the police interview, John Barritt was arrested and transported to the custody of police in Genesee County and was later charged by Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton with Amy Wienski’s murder.
Barritt’s attorney later filed a pre-trial motion to suppress Barritt’s statements made to the Calhoun County deputies, arguing his client had been subject to interrogation by police before they gave him his Miranda warning. The case twice went up to the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court on the issue and was ultimately tried before a jury with Barritt’s statements being suppressed.
“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict in this case,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. “Although we felt defendant’s statements should have been admissible at trial, we were able to sustain our burden of proof without them and see justice for Amy Wienski in the end,” he said.
Barritt will be sentenced as a four-time habitual felony offender and faces up to life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 4th.