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Pontiac — A Walled Lake woman goes on trial in Oakland Circuit Court on Monday for the January death of a retired auto worker who died from injuries suffered in a restaurant parking lot when he allegedly tried to stop her from driving off with his pickup.

Ruth Pozdol, 38, is charged with first-degree felony murder and carjacking in the death of Clifford Van Haywald, 76, of Waterford Township who was finishing his breakfast in a Burger King restaurant on Highland Road in the township on Jan. 18 when Pozdol asked to use his cellphone.

Pozdol, a heroin addict who had walked away from a nearby drug treatment center, followed Van Haywald as he left the restaurant and grabbed the keys to his 2001 Chevrolet Silverado. Van Haywald was knocked down by the truck and run over as Pozdol backed the truck up and drove away, witnesses told police.

The truck was later found in Detroit where an attempt had been made to burn it, police said. Walled Lake police received a tip that Pozdol could be found in that city later that evening and she was arrested without incident with her husband, who was not charged with any crimes.

The jury trial will be supervised by Judge James Alexander. If convicted of charges, Pozdol faces up to life in prison without parole.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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