Detroit woman dies after rape and beating outside church

Image copyright AFP Image caption The woman was punched in the head and kicked while being carried by church leaders

A 68-year-old grandmother has died after a spate of attempted rape and beatings, officials say.

Fifty-two-year-old Joyce Mitchell was initially in a coma after she was attacked in her car on a street outside a Detroit church.

She died on Thursday after undergoing surgery to remove blood clots and multiple fractures.

Mr Moody has been charged with three felonies. His bail was set at $250,000.

CCTV showed Ms Mitchell being pushed out of her car and bundled into a second-floor church office during the attack.

Image copyright Detroit News Image caption This was the parking lot in Detroit where Ms Mitchell was attacked

Her attackers, a pastor and two members of the congregation at New Hope Baptist Church, then lured her to a yard nearby, reports the Detroit News.

Ms Mitchell was punched in the head and kicked in the back while being carried by the church members. They even placed a crucifix on her stomach before leaving her for dead, according to court documents.

Describing what he witnessed, pastor Napoleon Moody said: “I just seen her fall out of the car.”

“I saw her fall out of the car, and I said that is just sad, seeing that, I saw her fall out of the car,” he said.

Her partner, Cascio Mitchell, told Local 4 News that she had been a nurse and worked at home for years before the attack.

“She was a lady that was just go with the flow, just loving life, and doing what she had to do to keep her children with her,” he said.

Local 4 News said the congregation was shocked and devastated.

“I don’t know what else to say. I really don’t. Just when I feel like coming to church,” a member said.

Neighbours were also left in shock, with one community member saying they were on edge.

Mr Moody has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on 1 December.

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