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Posted on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 7:04 p.m.

Dominic Oyerinde found guilty of felony murder in girlfriend's death

By Art Aisner


Dominic Oyerinde did not show any emotion as the verdict was rendered Friday.

Tom Perkins | For

A Washtenaw County judge today convicted Dominic Oyerinde of felony murder and carjacking in the bludgeoning death of his girlfriend last year.

Though armed mostly with circumstantial evidence, Circuit Judge Archie Brown said prosecutors showed 21-year-old Oyerinde was the only other person with 17-year-old Anna List when she was attacked in the early morning hours Jan. 13, 2009, outside Ypsilanti’s Recreation Park.

During a detailed explanation of the verdicts, Brown said Oyerinde admitted to stealing List's vehicle and driving to Detroit, and was in a state-of-mind that showed he intended to kill the Huron High School senior or cause her great bodily harm.

But Brown also said he didn't believe the murder was deliberate or premeditated from the evidence presented. Oyerinde opted for a bench trial before Brown this week instead of a jury trial.


Anna Maria List

First Assistant Prosecutor Eric Gutenberg pushed for a first-degree murder conviction by arguing Oyerinde followed List for more than 800 feet before striking her twice in the head with a hammer he grabbed from her van. The honors student was in a coma for about a week before she died.

Gutenberg also spent a good portion of his closing arguments Friday describing Oyerinde’s controlling nature during their six-month courtship. He also said List, an intelligent, sophisticated, and independent teen, was drawn to help him at a moment’s notice.

Using postings from List’s Facebook account, which Brown ruled were admissible Friday morning, Gutenberg explained List appeared smitten with the Detroit native and repeatedly showed her selfless side by reaching out to Oyerinde to make him happy.

The toxic relationship manifested in the hours before List was killed, Gutenberg said, as she opted to quit studying for a history exam the next morning to drive to Ypsilanti to help Oyerinde locate a phone he said was stolen.

“You see the selflessness of Anna Maria List in her attempts to help him, and that’s actually the hook he had,” Gutenberg said, holding a thick stack of the printed Facebook postings. “She was intelligent, and she was cognizant of his controlling behavior. Yet because of the hook he had, he knew he could always pull her back.”

Oyerinde took advantage of that and made it clear List would be punished if she challenged him, Gutenberg said. And the prosector said he suspected List challenged him that night.

Assistant Public Defender Tim Niemann said those suspicions weren't enough to convict Oyerinde of murder. He urged Brown not to get distracted by the emotions stirred by prosecutors in the absence of physical evidence.

Niemann said no physical evidence linked Oyerinde to the murder weapon or the crime upon his arrest barely 24 hours after the attack.

“There is as much evidence that this was (Oyerinde’s) friend or somebody else, as there is showing it was Dominic Oyerinde. That’s probably the truest definition of reasonable doubt,” Niemann said.

Oyerinde did not have a reaction when he heard the verdict. He faces mandatory life in prison without parole at sentencing April 7.

List’s father, Rudy, declined comment on behalf of the family as they left the courthouse.

Lonnell and Shireen Wiggens, Oyerinde’s aunt and uncle, said they attended each day of the trial, even though they believed he was guilty.

“We’re all he has,” said Lonnell Wiggens, explaining Oyerinde’s parents are deceased and he was in foster care for several years. “We’re here not to support him for what he’s done, but because he’s family. We’re so sorry for the List family that lost a loved one.”

Art Aisner is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Sun, Mar 14, 2010 : 12:56 a.m.

From what I've read, the death penalty really only deters crime if the execution is "swift and sure" rather than taking 10 years to occur while still only being used rarely. Essentially, in order for execution to deter crime more effectively than life in prison, anyone who seems like they're probably guilty has to get executed pretty much immediately. Since we actually believe in due process in this country, and protecting the public instead of "getting revenge", the death penalty becomes more of a way to save money on living expenses for someone who's (theoretically) never going to get out of prison anyway. Unfortunately, this cost savings assumes that the person really is guilty and that some sort of mistake won't be found years later. It's a little difficult to undo "dead". We're a wealthy society. We can afford the luxury of paying a convict's living expenses on the off chance that (s)he later turns out to be innocent after all. On another note, this case sounds more like one of a violent intimate partner stalker and I have a hard time seeing how after school youth programs are really going to impact that sort of thing.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 3:22 p.m.

Deepest sympathy to the victim's family.

Jo-Anne Julius

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

That sweet victim's name is incorrect in this story. It is Anna Maria List.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

All you death penalty fans- Be sure to watch Americas Most Wanted tonight.Steven Barnes will be on, he was convicted of murder and served 20 yrs before being exonerated.Tonight AMW looks for the real killer. We have already put to death inoccent people- Lets end the death penalty


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 10:36 a.m.

He got better than what he dealt to Anna. Sad to say we as tax payers will be paying for his existence for a long time. Unless someone in the prison system takes care of him for us. Anyone who hits someone from behind with a hammer to the head does not deserve a life in prison. Such a cowardly and inhuman act.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 4:10 a.m.

My thoughts and prayers with the List family.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 12:07 a.m.

I hope Art understands that in many murder trials, convictions are dependent on heavily circumstantial evidence, as the best witness is often in rather poor shape to testify. I worry the connotations of the second graf indicate there's some sort of community feeling that this person is being railroaded. Even the family, though, seems to understand this is necessary. While we need to do more to prevent disadvantaged youth from feeling disenfranchised and losing their opportunities to join society as adults, we have to protect people from criminals who are so lost that they cannot participate. This is definitely one of those cases. So I'm glad there's no possibility of parole. As for the taxpayer cost of housing him for life? What would be the cost of losing another Anna Marie?


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 11:13 p.m.

@pair-o-legal, the death penalty does reduce the incidence of murder by one less perpetrator.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 11:05 p.m.

The fact of the matter is that every single person in the area will be safer with this "young man" locked up for the rest of his life. I, for one, am completely comfortable paying for that. Possibly the greatest value you will get for your tax dollars.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 10:10 p.m.

"Sending this young man off to prison for the rest of his natural life will not bring Anna Marie List back." Wierd I had the false impression apparently that sending this criminal to prison was to protect US from HIM, not as reparation nor as vengence. My bad.

The Grinch

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 10:03 p.m.

A society that can celebrate that this young man's life is all but over is indeed to blame that life has little if any value. This whole story is unbelievably sad, and I fail to understand how anyone can take any joy in it.

Ron Torrella

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 8:15 p.m.

Sadly, even the death penalty apparently does nothing to reduce the murder rate. Show me legitimate statics to the contrary. Taking one life for another is homicide, period. In Michigan, we don't commit state-sanctioned homicide. The foster care system in Michigan is woefully inadequate to the demand placed on it. Perhaps instead of carping about how we don't have the death penalty, we should work on fixing what's broken. Time and again, children who wind up "in the system" end up getting into trouble. I see it just about every day. It's a sad state of affairs when the State cannot properly take care of children in its charge. We really cannot turn around and blame the State, though, when its citizens turn a blind eye to the problem. We *are* the State of Michigan. Each of us. We're all in this together. My heart goes out to both families. This is a horror that will not soon be forgotten, a wound that will not heal quickly. Sending this young man off to prison for the rest of his natural life will not bring Anna Marie List back.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 8:01 p.m.

I feel badly for the Wiggens couple also. And I can't imagine how painful and humiliating this has been for them too. He destroyed not only the adorable talented young lady and her family, but his own family as well.

scooter dog

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 6:17 p.m.

Punks now days could care less for your life and will do most anything to take it.Programs in prison do zero to stop their way of thinking.This country and state needs to bring back the death penalty


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

I don't know this guys past, but you have to wonder what makes young people so violent.The money thats going to be spent keeping him in prison for life is far greater than what could have been spent to correct this mans youth- Not to mention the loss of two lives. More prisons and longer terms are NOT working. In these economic times we need MORE youth programs- Not more cuts

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 5:05 p.m.

This was truly a tragic situation and it's comforting to know that the perpetrator of this horrendous crime will be locked away where he can't do this to anyone else. I hope this will be a lesson to anyone with teenage daughters that parents need to be very aware of who their daughters are having a relationship with and that a seemingly small age difference is no guarantee that the guy is a good person. The fact is that most violent crime (including rape and murder) is committed by males under the age of 25, and the average age difference in statutory rape cases is only 6 years. Teenagers, even ones as old as 17, more often than not have very poor judgment and I have to say that their judgment is probably getting worse over time as parental expectations drop to lower and lower points. If you have teenagers, especially teenage daughters, do some research into what kinds of behavior indicate that someone may have criminal personality traits and educate your kids. They will not tell you about everyone they associate with especially if it's a girl going out with an older guy who knows her parents are going to disapprove of the age difference involved. Ultimately their only defense is going to be critical thinking and good judgment.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 4:46 p.m.

How very sad that we as tax payers will have to foot his bill for the rest of his life. Hope the List family finds some comfort now this ordeal is over and they can start the healing process.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 4:30 p.m.

He was convicted of first degree felony murder (not second degree murder) and carjacking. Please correct this with the update.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

He got what he deserved

Forest City

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

With so many prisoners being released these days, lets just hope that life in prison with no chance of parole will stay life in prison with no chance of parole. There is chatter about ammending the tough lifer laws in Michigan. Let's make sure murderers stay in prison.

Theresa Taylor

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers are with the List family.


Fri, Mar 12, 2010 : 3:31 p.m.

Glad to hear that he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. No chance for parole.