Trial Ordered in Detroit Suicide Case

From Associated Press

A judge ruled Friday that a 72-year-old California man accused of helping his wife kill herself at a motel here will stand trial for murder and said his alleged confession to police can be used as evidence.

Bertram Harper of Loomis, Calif., lost a bid to have the murder charge in Virginia Harper’s August, 1990, death dropped.

Detroit Recorder’s Court Judge Isidore Torres said Harper’s admission that he helped secure a bag over his wife’s head as she slipped into unconsciousness can be used as evidence in the trial, set for May 6.

Harper had argued the statement was illegally obtained.

“I’m a little bit disappointed,” Harper said by telephone. He did not attend Friday’s proceedings. “I was hoping the whole thing would go away.”