Pair Arraigned In Multiple Murders
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ A man and woman accused of slaying the man’s former girlfriend and five other people, including two children, were arraigned in a hospital ward Wednesday on six counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Neither David E. Welch, 28, who was shot in the leg during Monday’s massacre, nor Rita Mae Lewis, 29, who was unhurt in the shootings but was brought to Highland Hospital for the hearing, entered pleas.
Judge Judith Ford gave them until Dec. 17 to retain lawyers.
Welch also was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and other documents were filed that could mean death sentences if the pair are convicted.
One of two survivors of the shootings, Leslie Morgan, 21, said he awoke to gunshots and saw Welch shoot his 3-year-old daughter in the head. Court documents say Morgan leaped to his feet and wrestled with Welch, forcing him to drop an Uzi semi-automatic carbine.
A woman accompanying Welch, whom police have identified as Ms. Lewis, yelled at Welch to get out of the way so she could get a clear shot at Morgan. She fired, wounding Welch in the leg and Morgan in the shoulder, said an affidavit filed by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
″Welch picked up his weapon and shot Morgan in the left forearm,″ the affidavit said, adding that Morgan lay motionless until the killers left the house.
Authorities say the slayings apparently stemmed from a long-running feud.
Two people, Barbara Mabrey, 37, and her son, Stacy, 18, escaped the house unharmed.
Morgan was in stable condition, as was 3-month-old Dexter Welch, who also was shot.
Authorities identified the dead as Dellena Mabrey, 17, her 3-year-old daughter, Valencia, and her brothers, Sean, 21, and Darnell, 22. Also killed were Catherine Walker, 34, and her 4-year-old son, Dwayne. The wounded infant is the son of Welch and Dellena Mabrey. Barbara Mabrey said Tuesday that the months-long feud between Welch and her family began when Dellena became pregnant and he tried to persuade her to have an abortion.
″I told him I didn’t believe in that, so he jumped on her and beat her,″ Mrs. Mabrey said.
Dellena Mabrey ended her relationship with Welch and resumed one with Morgan, relatives said. Police said several violent incidents ensued, including a fistfight between Welch with some residents of the house Sunday night in a dispute over a dog.
Mrs. Mabrey said the family called police Sunday and said Welch would kill them all as soon as officers left. ″They just left us here to die,″ she said.
Brierly said his officers were on the lookout for Welch, but couldn’t stake out the house because they had no way of knowing Welch would return. He called the killings ″bizarre and unpredictable.″