Man arraigned in connection with suspicious Burlington death - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Man arraigned in connection with suspicious Burlington death

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Mark Delude Mark Delude

Did a homeless man threaten witnesses not to speak to police about another man's death? A suspect was in court in Burlington Tuesday. Mark Delude is who police call a "person of interest" in the death of Forrest Bryant. Tuesday in court, Delude refused to enter a plea on an obstruction of justice charge, so his public defender entered a denial on his behalf.

The charge against Mark Delude comes after he allegedly tried to stop some homeless campers from calling 911 to get help. They had found the body of Forrest Bryant-- another homeless man who was living there-- in Delude's tent. Both men lived at the campsite. Friends of the pair who tried to call police say they were threatened by Delude and called traitors for what Delude told them was an act of self-defense.

"I'm mindful of the fact that Mr. Delude is a person of interest in an investigation that might lead to more serious charges, but I can't take those charges or the possibility of those charges into the bail determination here," Vt. Superior Court Judge Samuel Hoar said.

The campsite Delude once called home was leveled by the city following the death of Bryant. All of the homeless campers were relocated to North Beach. Friends of Delude and Bryant say it's been hard, but they are receiving assistance with relocation from Harbor Place, which helps with short-term housing for the homeless.

"I've known Mark for like five years and he's like, 'Hey, I got an extra bed, come on in.' So now I'm displaced again within a month and it's a little scary, but the street outreach has been awesome," said Deborah Ballard, a homeless camper.

"They're trying to help us find more suitable situations. Unfortunately, we can't stay here because they're full, so we only have until Thursday morning here," said Renee Drew, a homeless camper.

Delude's connection to the death of Bryant is still under investigation. He is currently being held on $10,000 bail.

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