Friend testifies Detroit man admitted killing wife
Detroit — The friend of a Detroit man charged with killing his wife testified Tuesday against Erin Justice, saying the husband admitted to the crime.
Justice sat impassively a few feet from Timothy Jones in a courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
Jones pleaded guilty March 30 to being an accessory after the fact in the slaying of Justice's estranged wife, 27-year-old Alicia Fox. Her decomposed body was found June 9 in an abandoned house on Penrod near Tireman on the city's west side.
Earlier Tuesday, 36th District Judge Shannon Holmes ruled Justice, 29, was competent to stand trial in Fox's death after results from an exam were revealed in court.
He was extradited from Atlanta to Detroit in September to face a first-degree murder charge in the case.
During his testimony, Jones said Justice told him last Memorial Day he killed his wife.
"He said they were arguing, he blacked out (and) when he came to, he was shooting," Jones testified.
Jones said Justice was looking for car keys to his wife's car and took him to Fox's body in the attic of their home on Ardmore, and Justice searched his dead wife for the keys. Jones testified he helped move the body, with six bullet wounds, and disposed of shell casings.
Fox had been shot in the chest and head as well as the thigh area. Fox's children, 6-year-old Kaylah Hunter and 8-month-old Kristian Justice, have not been located. The infant was in the room where his dead mother's body was brought, Jones said.
Jones said Justice gave him an expensive pair of glasses and a watch when he left and had promised him money. Jones said Justice called him about 10 times in the next few days, but he declined to take Justice's calls.
Justice also asked for help in selling the gun allegedly used to kill his wife, Jones said, adding he tried to sell it but decided against it.
Jones testified Tuesday the children were alive when he last saw them.
After the hearing, Justice's attorney said Jones, whose sister has a child with Justice, was not credible.
Defense attorney Gerald Karafa pointed out during the hearing that Jones had inconsistencies in his testimony and his statements to police and FBI agents.
Karafa, during his cross-examination, pointed out to Jones he did not tell police he dumped the shell casings from the house into two sewers near the Ardmore Street home where Jones saw Fox's body and Justice with Fox's children. Karafa also said it was Jones who suggested to Justice they search Fox's body for the car keys.
Karafa also pointed out Jones did not call police and he gave his testimony in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.
"I'm doing five years because your client decided to kill his wife," Jones said Tuesday.
Jones said he didn't call because he was fearful that what happened to Fox would happen to him.
"I could have been another person lying there with Alicia Fox," Jones said.
He said he did tell some friends about it because he felt guilty.
"I knew Alicia. I had hung out with her," Jones said. He said during later testimony about Fox that Justice told him the couple had argued.
"She was trying to leave," Jones said, relaying what Justice told him about Fox's murder. "She was trying to escape."
Holmes bound Justice over to stand trial on the first-degree murder charges. His next court date is May 12.