A few minutes into Mother’s Day, May 9, 1999, a white minivan came flying into a gas station at Cadillac and East Warren. Lisa Kindred, a 35-year-old mother of four, was in a panic. She got out, took a few steps and collapsed on the pavement.
Three of her kids, including a 10-day-old baby, were in the back seat. Kindred had been shot.
During his 22 years as a Detroit Cop, Mike Carlisle had a reputation as a no- nonsense guy who got the job done. During his last 10 years, he tackled some of Detroit's most difficult murder cases.
Will Kindred says he was just walking out of his brother-in-law’s house when he heard a loud noise like a car door slamming and saw his wife’s van speeding down the street.
Will Kindred was well known to Roseville Police for taking his rage out on his wife and children. Public records show police were called to Kindred's home 17 times in four years for domestic issues. Some of the incidents were disturbingly violent.
In the hours and days following the Kindred murder, Detroit Police searched five homes and an apartment looking for evidence that would connect Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott to the killing. Police records show they found nothing.
Justly Johnson, convicted in the murder of Lisa Kindred, says there is a man who can vouch for his innocence but he doesn’t know his last name, or where to find him.
Judge Prentis Edwards found Justly Johnson guilty after a two-day trial. There was no jury. He acknowledged there were no eyewitnesses and there was only circumstantial evidence.
Shortly after the murder of Lisa Kindred, Detroit Police had two witnesses who fingered Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott as the killers. But their stories were not consistent. They even disagreed on which of the two men actually pulled the trigger.
According to the affidavits, Lisa Kindred told Jodi Gonterman that if anything ever happened to her she should suspect her husband Will Kindred. According to the affidavits, from people who talked to Kindred's sister, Lisa also told her sister that if anything happened to her, she wanted Gonterman to have custody of her kids.
For 12 years, Justly Johnson has been fighting to get his story out. Now you can hear, in Johnson’s own words, why he thinks he deserves a shot at freedom. After a couple months of studying this murder case, I decided it was time for a face-to-face meeting with Justly Johnson.
The only significant piece of physical evidence left behind by the killer of Lisa Kindred is the casing from the small caliber bullet that pierced her heart.
Justly Johnson was 24 years old when he was arrested for the murder of Lisa Kindred and unless he is successful on appeal, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
With all of the questions surrounding the murder of Lisa Kindred, one thing is undisputed; she and her husband had a very stormy on-again, off-again relationship.
When Justly Johnson was convicted in 2000, he immediately started working to get a new trial. Johnson contacted Innocence Projects in every state. At that time, Michigan had only one Innocence Project at Cooley Law School in Lansing and they only accepted cases with DNA evidence.
Action News reporter Kimberly Craig was sent out to cover the murder of Lisa Kindred on Mother’s Day, 1999. Watch her report in the video player above.
|Asst. Documents||Justly Polygraph|
|Burnette Juvy Records||Roseville PD: Other Woman|
|Kindred Sister Affidavit||Kindred Miller Statement|
|Carlisle Report||Burnette Statement|
|Elrick Article||K Scott Statement|
|Husband Violent Past||Kym Worthy Letters|
|Jackson Statement||Kindred Divorce PPO|
|Justly Police Statement||Reports Before Murder|
|Justly Court Statement||Justly Lawyer in Court|
|Shell Casing 1||Shell Casing 2|
I get a lot of letters from prisoners who claim they were wrongly convicted. But it’s hard for a journalist to undo what a jury or judge has already done. And you have to be careful. You don’t want to be used by someone who doesn’t deserve a second chance.