DETROIT (WWJ) – A judge reprimanded an accused murderer whom she said was rolling his eyes and laughing during testimony in Detroit’s 36th District Court.
A preliminary exam to determine if three suspects will stand trial in the kidnapping and killing of a 13-year-old boy began Thursday morning.
A witness was describing seeing a boy being severely beaten in the head in a car when Judge Shannon Holmes interrupted.
“I strongly suggest that you get your gestures together,” a clearly annoyed Holmes told 45-year-old Gregory Walker. “He is continually making facial gestures; he’s laughing, he’s rolling his eyes back to the back of his head. And I was a third grade teacher many, many years ago and I didn’t allow kids to act that way. I am certainly not going to allow you to act that way in my courtroom.”
Walker, along with alleged accomplices 43-year-old Lillian Roberts and 26-year-old Earnest Coleman, are charged in the death of Deontae Mitchell who police say was abducted at gunpoint after picking up $75 that fell out of Walker’s pocket outside Nino’s party store, on East Warren on the city’s east side, on May 31.
A second witness testified Thursday that he’d been shopping at Nino’s that night, telling the court that he saw Walker there, armed with a pistol.
“As I left out of the store, I see the gentleman here pull up in a black car, pull a gun out and say: ‘I’m tied of these young (expletive) out here,'” the witness said. “And he raised the gun and he fired a shot off. A lot of kids out, and they all scattered.”
He identified Walker as the shooter, but said he did not see Mitchell and could not tell if there was anyone else with Walker in the car.
Earlier in the hearing, Mitchell’s cousin — who was riding bikes with the victim the night of the kidnapping — took the stand.
The teen said Mitchell was the one who picked up the money because “he got to it first” but that they’d shared the cash.
Under questioning from the defense, the teen also testified that he did not see Roberts — or any female with Walker — outside the store.
Police say surveillance video from the market shows Mitchell being pursued by Walker. According to police, Walker grabbed Mitchell’s arm and “forced him into the rear passenger side” of a black Chevy Impala.
Walker’s cousin John Reed, who was shown the video, testified that he recognized Walker as the man on the tape.
The boy was the subject of an Amber Alert before his body was found June 2, hidden in tall grass in a vacant lot at Harper and Baldwin in Detroit.
The hearing adjourned for the day and will pick up July 12.
The suspects face life in prison if convicted on murder, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, torture and felony firearms charges.