Detroit man charged in kidnapping of Deontae

The Detroit News

A suspect arrested at his Detroit home this week in the kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found in an overgrown east side field was charged in the case on Saturday.

Earnest Coleman, 26, one of four people held in the kidnapping and killing of of Deontae Mitchell, was charged with kidnapping by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Earnest Coleman

According to a statement from the prosecutor, Coleman and others allegedly kidnapped Deontae on May 31 outside Nino’s Market at 15901 E. Warren, less than five miles from where the boy’s body was found two days later near Harper and Baldwin.

“The alleged facts in this case explicitly show that the lives of some of Detroit's children continue to be less important than everything else — in this case a few dollars dropped from a pocket,” Worthy said in the statement. “May we all reexamine the worth of our children and we in the criminal justice system will handle the senseless murder of Deontae.”

The prosecutor provided no further information on the case noting that the investigation continues.

Coleman is expected to be arraigned on Sunday in 34th District Court in Romulus.

Gregory Walker remained jailed awaiting extradition Friday in Toledo after his arrest there Thursday.

Walker, a 45-year-old Detroiter, and a “female companion” arrested with him “have to go through an extradition hearing before they are brought back to Michigan,” Officer Jennifer Moreno said.

The woman’s alleged role in the kidnapping remained unclear.

Deontae Mitchell

Deontae was kidnapped after riding bikes with his cousin to the market, police said. They saw Walker, who appeared to be intoxicated, drop money while urinating outside the store.

Deontae picked up the money and the pair rode away, according to the boy’s cousin.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner said Friday an autopsy for Deontae was complete and the manner of death was pending further investigation.

Craig described the case as one involving “a defenseless young man and an adult who is frankly three times his size.”

“What’s the point of a weapon?" Craig said. "What’s the point of abducting a child?”

Detroit Police announced earlier that the fourth suspect in Deontae's abduction and death was arrested at his home Friday morning without incident.

Chief James Craig said Roy Portis, 51, was being held at the Detroit Detention Center.

Craig was joined by Mayor Mike Duggan at a news conference where they praised the community for coming forth with information that led to arrests. Duggan said more than a half-dozen community members offered "critical pieces" to assist the investigation.

“The story of Deontae being senselessly killed over such a small amount of money is one that’s going to stay with us a long time," Duggan said. "When you lose a child in this community it leaves a hole in the family, it leaves a hole in the neighborhood, it leaves a hole in their school, it leaves a hole in the entire community.”