DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit man has been sentenced to prison for his role in the killing of a 13-year-old boy who was abducted, beaten and choked after he picked up about $70 that was dropped outside of a convenience store.
Earnest Coleman returned to court Thursday, less than a month after pleading guilty to torture and illegal possession of a gun, where he received a sentence of at least 14 years in prison in the death of Deontae Mitchell.
Two more people will be sentenced on Nov. 18; Gregory Walker and Lillian Roberts pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping, although Roberts’ sentence is likely to be lower. Walker’s plea deal calls for 40 to 60 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Walker killed Mitchell with help from Roberts and Coleman on May 31. His body was found in a vacant lot.
Mitchell’s cousin told police that he disappeared a short time after he picked up some money dropped by “a drunk man” outside Nino’s party store, an east side market near where the pair had been riding their bikes.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Mitchell rode away with about $70 of cash but later was found by the trio. Police the next day released chilling surveillance video showing Mitchell being pursued by a man, grabbed, and forced into a car.
Mitchell ’s body was found June 2, hidden in tall grass in a vacant lot at Harper and Baldwin in Detroit. Later that day, Walker and Roberts were arrested at Toledo hotel; and Coleman was taken into custody in Detroit.
During trial, a witness testified that he’d been shopping at Nino’s that night and 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.
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