Published April 4, 2006
FLINT (AP) - The 19-year-old woman accused in a series of murders and robberies in southeastern Michigan told investigators that she helped drag Winfield Johnson after he had been shot so that her fiance could strangle him, a detective testified.
Samantha Bachynski is charged with first-degree murder along with her fiance, Patrick Selepak, in Johnson's Feb. 21 killing. Her preliminary exam continued yesterday in 67th District Court in Flint and is scheduled to resume April 11, court spokeswoman Dena Altheide said.
Bachynski and Selepak also face charges in Macomb County in the killings of Melissa and Scott Berels of New Baltimore.
On Monday, Bachynski sobbed as Detective David Dwyre of the Genesee County Sheriff's Department testified about her statement.
Dwyre said Bachynski told him that Selepak shot Johnson, 53, twice when he tried to escape from his Vienna Township home after learning that the couple, whom he had allowed to stay with him, were wanted in the Berelses' deaths.
She then helped Selepak drag the injured man, and Selepak placed a bag over his head and choked him to death, Dwyre said Bachynski told him.
Bachynski said she poked Johnson in the ribs with a knife to make sure he was dead and then helped Selepak wrap the body and put it in the victim's truck, covering it with garbage and a mattress, according to Dwyre's account.
Bachynski said she and Selepak had gone to the Flint gay bar where they met Johnson as part of a plan to find an older man to use for money while they hid from police after the New Baltimore killings, Dwyre testified. Selepak slept with Johnson while he and Bachynski stayed in his home and plotted his robbery, according to the account.
Dwyre said Bachynski also told him about her role in the New Baltimore killings, saying she helped choke Melissa Berels and injected Scott Berels with bleach up to a dozen times in several unsuccessful attempts to kill him. He finally died after she tugged on a belt wrapped around his neck as Selepak used his hands to choke him.