Detroit man held on $1M bond in Deontae’s kidnapping

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Romulus — A $1 million bond was set Sunday for a man charged in the kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found last week in an overgrown east side Detroit field.

Ernest Coleman, 26, a Detroiter, was arraigned by video before Judge Michael Callahan in Romulus on charges that he kidnapped Deontae Mitchell.

Earnest Coleman

After a not guilty plea was entered on Coleman's behalf, he was ordered to return to court for a pre-trial conference on June 16and for a preliminary exam on June 23, at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

Coleman stands accused of "knowingly restraining" Deontae "with intent to hold for ransom or reward" on May 31 at 11:15 p.m. outside Nino's Market on the 15900 block of East Warren, Callahan said.

Deontae’s body was found dead in a field on Baldwin, off Harper Street, not far from where he'd been abducted.

So as to "ensure (Coleman's) appearance and to protect the public from further harm," Callahan said, he set Coleman's bond at $1 million cash. Kidnapping carries a possible life sentence.

Deontae Mitchell

Last week, Detroit Police arrested three others in connection with the kidnapping and death of Deontae.

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 lat week.

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

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?”