Murder charges upheld against man accused of killing art student

Woman found beaten, strangled, face down in Cobbs Creek in November

Kristen Johanson
June 12, 2018 - 3:55 pm
David Grier

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Charges have been upheld against the man accused of murdering a beloved art student in Cobbs Creek in November. 

David Grier, 22, will face a murder trial, despite his defense attorney arguing there wasn't enough evidence to sustain the case. 

Prosecutors showed surveillance video of 22-year-old Kierra Johnson and Grier walking near Cobbs Creek. Family and friends of Johnson watched her last moments alive and listened to evidence and testimony about how she was beaten and strangled, later found face down in the creek.

A witness, who was close to the victim, testified about texts and social media exchanges she had with both Johnson and Grier, and said Johnson and Grier were romantically involved at the time she was murdered. 

The prosecutor pointed out that Grier never told any of Johnson's relatives — or police — that he was with her the night before her disappearance, as was seen on the surveillance video.

Despite DNA evidence linking his client to Johnson, Grier’s lawyer said there wasn't enough evidence to prove he has even stepped foot inside the park, let alone killed Johnson. 

The judge disagreed, saying when you combine it all together — though circumstantial — there was enough evidence. 

A formal arraignment is scheduled for next month.