Man wanted for murder three years ago is charged with another homicide, bound over for trial

A 50-year-old man has been bound over for trial for allegedly killing his on-again-off-again girlfriend. Testimony against Herman Gilstrap on Friday was pretty damning - but it's not the only evidence that points toward him as the offender.

Gilstrap was already wanted for murder of another woman three years ago.

"I heard a loud boom, and when I went to the window, that's when I seen flames low to the ground," said a neighbor.

That woman was describing the fire that was started at a vacant home on Greenview Avenue in Detroit. Investigators initially pointed to arson as the offense, before re-labeling the crime as a coverup for murder.

Lorenda Cruell, a 32-year-old woman that everyone called ReeRee was found dead behind the house.

"I searched several trash cans with my squad members. I discovered a gas can and a lid to the gas can inside the trash cans," said Detective Johnell White. 

However, it wasn't just law enforcement that spoke in court. Several individuals close to Gilstrap described dialogue between them and the accused.

"He called me, he said 'pops, I killed her.' I said 'killed who?' He said 'ReeRee.' I said 'turn yourself in or else I'm going to turn you in,'" said Gilstrap's stepfather.

"I said, 'that's ReeRee over there?' He said 'yeah, I need some money to get out of town,' He said 'she did something - she played me and he couldn't talk about it over the phone,'" said Gilstrap's friend.

Gilstrap, whose family lived nearby to the vacant home that was lit ablaze, was a convicted sex offender by the time he was arrested. Gilstrap reportedly had a tumultuous relationship with ReeRee, and had been charged with domestic violence against her. However, he didn't face charges after she chose not to pursue the case. 

Now she's dead, caused by blunt force trauma to the head. 

By the time Gilstrap was arrested, he had already been wanted for the murder of a 53-year-old woman from three years ago. Accused of stabbing Linda Lee Jackson to death in a vacant field on Grand River near Woodside, the murder happened in June of 2016.

"She was killed 10 days before her oldest grandson, my son, graduated high school. I just don't understand," said Deyona Jackson, the daughter of Linda Lee Jackson, during a press conference years prior.

Now that a second woman has died, allegedly at the hands of the same man, a judge ruled Gilstrap bound over for trial.

"One, he tried to get rid of the evidence, and two he tried to flee the scene or the area or the jurisdiction so all of those things go to homicide in the first degree," said Judge Michael Wagner, of the 36th District Court.