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Bus Driver Tells Of Bridge Attack

Sat., Sept. 2, 1995, midnight

A city bus driver testified Friday he and 40 to 50 other people watched helplessly as a nearly nude woman was beaten on a bridge and finally jumped to her death to escape the attack.

Harvey Mayberry said he watched as a man later identified as Martell Welch Jr., apparently angry over a fender-bender, slammed the woman’s head five or six times against the hood of her car.

Finally, the woman jumped off the side of the Belle Isle bridge, falling about 30 feet into the Detroit River, the witness said.

“I just felt bad,” Mayberry said. “There was nothing I could do about it.”

After Mayberry’s testimony at the preliminary hearing, Welch, 19, was ordered to stand trial on an open murder charge in the death of 33-year-old Deletha Word. The charge means Welch could be convicted of first- or second-degree murder.

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