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Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Announces Conviction of David Grier for Murder of Kierra Johnson

PHILADELPHIA (February 14, 2022) — District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced that David Grier (DOB: 9/8/1995), who was accused in the strangulation killing of 21-year-old Kierra Johnson in November of 2017, was found guilty by a jury last week of First Degree Murder.Johnson, a beloved arts student and conservationist, was last seen by family on the evening of November 2, 2017. Her body was found the following morning in Cobbs Creek after Philadelphia Police received a report of an unidentified female submerged in the Creek. The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office concluded the next day, based on ligature marks and defensive wounds found on her neck, that she had been strangled to death while attempting to fend off her attacker. In addition to DNA found under Johnson’s fingernails that linked Grier to her death, investigators utilized cell phone data, call records, and surveillance video to establish that Grier — contrary to claims he made to Johnson’s friends and family — had not only been with her on the night of her murder, but had committed the crime himself. Grier was arrested on April 11, 2018.“My daughter was very kind and peace-loving,” said Rusten Johnson, Kierra Johnson’s father. “Healing is a process, and at first I asked myself ‘Why me?’ But as time goes on, I just feel more blessed to have had her in my life. I thank the Philadelphia Police Department and Assistant District Attorneys Cydney Pope and Christian Wynne for all of the work they put into obtaining justice for Kierra, and I’m also grateful to the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia for helping our family through this very difficult time. Justice is served.”“Despite there being very little media coverage on this case, the Philadelphia Police Department worked hard,” said ADA Cydney Pope, the lead prosecutor assigned to Johnson’s case. “Det. Edward Toliver worked tirelessly and obtained surveillance video that would prove critically important to placing Grier with Johnson on the night of her murder. We hope that with this verdict, with this justice, that we have been able to save someone else’s life, and to give voice to all of the women out there who have told a partner or former partner ‘No’ and have paid the ultimate price.”“Every single person who has touched this case has put in 100% to make sure that we are able to remember Kierra, not necessarily for how she died, but how she lived, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of that,” said ADA Christian Wynne. “I also want to thank her family and friends who were courageous enough to come forward and give statements to the police, which gave us the opportunity to try this case the way it deserved and obtain justice for Kierra.”“Thanks to the skillful prosecution of this difficult case by ADAs Cydney Pope and Christian Wynne, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office was able to obtain justice for Kierra Johnson and her community,” said DA Krasner. “Kierra’s heartbreaking case also drives home the importance of robust use of forensics and cooperation from the public in the successful prosecution of violent crimes. We urge those who have information that can help police and prosecutors solve cases to please come forward and help us. There are far too many families who have not had their day in court. We cannot do this alone.”Grier will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Below are photos provided by the family for use by the news media.

CONTACT:Dustin Slaughter, 215-686-8713, [email protected]