Ramona Africa, the only adult known to have survived the fiery police assault on the headquarters of the radical group MOVE last May, confronted Mayor W. Wilson Goode yesterday at her trial, demanding: "Are you a liar?"
Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Stiles ruled that Goode did not have to answer.
Africa, 30, standing with her fire-scarred left arm exposed to the jury and a packed courtroom, is acting as her own attorney and had subpoenaed the mayor to testify. She faces several charges stemming from the confrontation.
Eleven persons living with Africa died when police dropped a bomb on the group's row house and ignored a fire that destroyed 61 houses. She and a boy, 13, were the only known survivors. Police had been trying to arrest some of the radicals and evict the others.
MOVE and its supporters claimed that the police intended to kill them, a claim at the heart of Africa's defense. She is charged with aggravated and simple assault, riot, making terroristic threats and conspiracy.
Africa questioned Goode on what he knew about plans to evict MOVE and whether he approved the bombing. The mayor said he was unaware that a bomb was to be dropped.
Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Joseph McGill, Goode said officials "tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution."