Greene slaying reward upped by another $50K

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — The reward for information leading to an arrest in the 2003 murder of Tamara "Strawberry" Greene has been upped by another $50,000, Crime Stoppers of Michigan announced Tuesday.

That brings the total to $152,500.

In late October, an anonymous donor came forward and sweetened the reward by $100,000. It had started out at $2,500, the standard reward in Crime Stoppers homicide cases.

Now the donor is identifying himself as Robert Carmack, the organization noted in a news release. 

Carmack told Crime Stoppers that he made the initial reward donation — and the subsequent donation — because he had been a single father. Greene had three children at the time of her death.

Greene was dropping off boyfriend Eric "Big E" Mitchell at his home, in the area of Roselawn and West Outer Drive, about 3:40 a.m. April 30, 2003, when a white Chevy Trailblazer pulled up and someone inside fired shots, striking Greene three times, police say.

A number of theories have been offered to explain Greene's death, but none have resulted in an arrest and conviction some 15 years later. 

One theory claims that Greene, 27, was killed by Detroit police officers after dancing at a 2002 party at the Manoogian Mansion during the tenure of then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The theory is that she was slain because she "knew too much" and wanted money for her silence.

"But the very existence of the party has never been confirmed," as a 2008 Detroit News article on the case explained, "nor has any connection been shown between Greene's ... slaying and city hall."

Mike Cox, Michigan's attorney general at the time, famously dismissed the alleged party as an urban legend. The family sued the city in federal court in 2005, alleging a cover-up, but the case was dismissed in 2011.

Another theory had it that a man named Darrett King, a drug dealer and rival of Mitchell's, made sexual advances on Greene at a party about two weeks before her death and was rebuffed. Mitchell, law enforcement said at the time, intervened and beat up King. The gunfire that killed Greene also hit Mitchell five times, and Mitchell gave investigators King's nickname, telling them "it was Little D," police said. 

A retired Detroit Police homicide detective testified years ago during an unrelated trial that he believes King shot Greene.

King would serve a year in prison after being convicted by a Wayne County jury of cocaine distribution under 50 grams, an offense that took place the day of Greene's death. He's at the Thumb Correctional Facility, serving time on a 2009 conviction for assault with intent to murder. That conviction stemmed from a December 2004 incident. The earliest King will get out is October 2027, and the latest is July 2038, prison records show. 

Tipsters who have information on Greene's death can reach Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 800-SPEAK-UP.