Man found guilty of strangling Philadelphia art student and dumping his body

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia man has been convicted of the murder of Kierra Johnson, an art student found dead in Cobbs Creek more than four years ago.

David Grier, 26, sat in silence as the foreman of the jury read that he was guilty of first-degree murder in Johnson’s death by strangulation. The families of Grier and Johnson sat silently in another courtroom as the verdict was read.

Grier represented himself throughout the trial as prosecutors reviewed evidence and testimony: his DNA under his fingernails, scratches on his hands and surveillance video of the two walking near Cobbs Creek hours before Johnson was killed. be found dead.

Grier continued to point to the jogger who found her as the possible killer.

Johnson had been strangled with something; prosecutors believe it was the straps of her bag.

The two had known each other since high school. Prosecutors said if Grier couldn’t have it, no one could.

Prosecutors also appealed to former friends of Grier and Johnson. They testified that Grier tried to distance himself from Johnson and was emotionless at his funeral.

A detective also said Grier deleted his Facebook just when they thought Johnson had been killed and told people he hadn’t spoken to her in weeks.

But Grier adamantly maintained that he did not kill Johnson and said in court that this case was “the worst in the criminal justice system”. He also rejected a third-degree murder plea offer.

First-degree murder carries an immediate life sentence, but sentencing will be handed down at a later date for families to read victim impact statements.

Kayleen C. Rice