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Eyewitness Says Suspect Tried to Sell Bridge Victim

August 26, 1995|From Associated Press

DETROIT — A man who beat a woman after a traffic accident tried to sell her to onlookers on a bridge, saying "she has to pay for my car," a witness said Friday.

Harvey Mayberry told the Associated Press that a few people cheered the deadly attack, but most were appalled and too terrified to get between the victim and her enraged attacker.

"It's not that people didn't want to help. We were in a position where we could not help," he said.

Deletha Word, 33, drowned in the predawn hours on Aug. 19 after she apparently jumped from the Belle Isle Bridge into the Detroit River. Martell Welch, 19, was charged with second-degree murder. Police say the attack followed a minor traffic accident.

Richard Padzieski, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor, said that police had interviewed Mayberry but that his allegation that the suspect offered Word for sale to the crowd was new.

However, Mayberry, a 40-year-old city bus driver, said he was positive about what he saw and would submit to a lie-detector test.

"I wanted to help her, but I was simply afraid," Mayberry said.

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