GENESEE COUNTY — Three separate juries have rendered guilty verdicts in the March 4, 2012 carjacking and murder of a Grand Blanc woman, said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton in a press release last Friday.
James Lee Horn, 21, of Flint, Nancy Edna Johnson, 34, of Davison, and Matthew Allen Riselay, 20, of Flint Township, were each charged and convicted of killing Leslie Mills, 55, of Grand Blanc, at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.
Mills had stopped to buy at the Mobil gas station on Corunna Road when her assailants approached her car, according to the police investigation.
Riselay was standing outside the open passenger door of Mills’ vehicle when he fired a single shot at her before dropping the gun. Johnson then picked up the gun and shot Mills several more times. After being shot, Mills was shoved out of her car which was then driven away by her assailants. An ambulance was dispatched to the gas station and Mills died while en route to the hospital.
Mills’ car was found by police a short time later at the Economy Motel on Corunna Road. Police surveillance was set up, and suspects were arrested a short time later.
A few days later, Prosecutor Leyton charged the three co-defendants with five felony counts including first degree felony murder, open murder, carjacking, carrying a concealed weapon, and felony firearm.
Three separate juries were convened on April 23 and heard the cases against the three. Johnson and Riselay were convicted on all counts and Horn was convicted of two counts of second degree murder along with carjacking, carrying a concealed weapon, and felony firearm.
A fourth person involved in the case, Phillip Michael Eason, 22, of Mt. Morris, pleaded guilty in March to the charge of accessory after the fact related to his role of hiding the murder weapon after the shooting. Two other charges against Eason, felony firearms and felon in possession of a firearm, were dismissed in return for his guilty plea and trial testimony against the other co-defendants. Eason stands to be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for that conviction due to him being a three time habitual offender.
At the time of Mills’ murder, there was a bench warrant out for his arrest stemming from an unrelated drug charge from 2010 in Flint. When Eason was arrested as part of the Mills murder case investigation, the 68th District Court drug charge case was reactivated. As part of a negotiated plea involving the charges against him in the Mills case, he pleaded no contest to possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and faces up to 40 years in prison as a third time habitual offender on that charge when he is sentenced May 28th.
“Obviously, I am very pleased with these verdicts,” said Prosecutor Leyton. “Justice has been served for Mrs. Mills, her family, and our community.”
“This type of crime, involving the most serious offense possible against an unsuspecting, innocent victim going about her normal routine, is what is most frightening and most threatening to our community,” he said.
“Thanks to the swift response of local law enforcement at the time of the crime and the hard work by my staff in partnership with the police over the past year, we were able to see this case through and a just verdict rendered.”
“My heart goes out to the victim’s family and I can only hope that these verdicts can help them begin to find some sense of closure and assist them as they continue to go through the grieving and healing process,” he said. — Rhonda Sanders