Man linked to 2 attacks tied to 3rd woman’s death

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A man charged in the attacks of two local women and a teenaged girl was arraigned Thursday in connection with the assault and death of a 17-year-old girl.

Darian Winfield, 19, appeared before 36th District Court Magistrate Bari Blake Wood by video on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree home invasion and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The teenaged girl was beaten on the head during the attack at her home between 3 and 7 a.m. Jan. 7 in the 5500 block of Radnor on Detroit’s east side. She died from her injuries five days later.

Winfield also has been charged with attacking a 39-year-old woman in the 5800 block of Radnor. Authorities say he broke into the woman’s home and stabbed her in her bedroom around 3:43 a.m. Dec. 30.

With a knife still in her chest from the attack, the woman said she eventually broke free from her assailant whom she identified as Winfield. She said she used her stun gun on him.

“I lit him up,” the woman testified during the Jan. 26 hearing. “I could smell something burning.”

Winfield has been charged with first-degree home invasion, assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in connection with the attack on the 39-year-old woman.

The Detroit News does not name victims of sexual assault.

Winfield is expected back in court for a probable cause conference in the teen’s attack at 8:30 a.m. March 3. His preliminary examination is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 10. Both hearings will be heard before 36th District Court Judge Lydia Nance Adams.

In a third case, Winfield is charged with assault with intent to murder in an attack on a 48-year-old Grosse Pointe woman around 12:15 a.m. Dec. 15 near Cadieux and Mack in Grosse Pointe Park.

The woman, who said her attacker used a butter knife, said he “looked like” Winfield, knocked her down to the ground, fell with her and hit her. She said she later discovered she was bleeding from a stab wound and was cut in the face, three times across the chest and on the left wrist.

“It was so sharp,” the woman said Feb. 1 during a preliminary examination for Winfield. “I thought he was hitting me but I later realized he was stabbing me.”

Winfield, who has a $1 million bond in the Detroit and Grosse Pointe cases, was remanded back to the Wayne County Jail on Thursday.

Anita Pace, Winfield’s mother, has questioned her son’s involvement in the assaults, saying he does not match the description of the suspect police say is responsible in the attacks. She said investigators have failed to find evidence at her home or Winfield’s apartment linking him to the crimes.

Pace said her son “doesn’t have any piercings — not one,” like what police have described the perpetrator as having and Winfield is heavier and taller and has a lighter complexion.

Before his arrest, Winfield attended East English Village Preparatory Academy and worked as a packer in Macomb County, Pace said. He said he also volunteers at a local soup kitchen, attends church and has a girlfriend.

“He was doing what he needed to do for himself. He’s not a bad guy at all,” Pace said last month.

Police said Winfield has a history of violence. He was given probation for a previous conviction of assault with intent to do great bodily harm in an incident last year involving a 17-year-old girl, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. That incident was not a sexual assault.

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