2 get decades in prison for boy's kidnapping, murder

Holly Fournier and Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 44-year-old Detroit mother and her 45-year-old boyfriend were sentenced Friday to decades in prison for their part in the kidnapping and murder of a 13-year-old boy who scooped up money the man dropped outside a Detroit market on East Warren.

Gregory Walker and Lillian Roberts previously pleaded guilty in the May 31 kidnapping and slaying of Deontae Mitchell.

Walker received two sentences of 40-60 years in prison for second-degree murder and kidnapping, to be served at the same time. He also will serve a separate, consecutive two years for felony firearm.

Roberts received two sentences of 24-40 years for the same charges. Her sentences also will run concurrently. Both defendants got credit for 170 days already served in jail.

Deontae’s mother declined to address the court during Friday’s hearing. She silently held back tears as the verdicts were read, and a young supporter clutched her arm. Both declined to comment after the hearing.

Walker and Roberts each spoke before their sentences were announced.

“I would like to apologize to the victim’s family, just for my involvement, period,” Roberts said.

Moments later, Walker also offered a brief apology.

“I would just like to say that I’msorry to the family,” he said.

Roberts’ son, 27-year-old Ernest Coleman, was sentenced last week in connection with the crime. He was given 12-15 years in prison for torture and kidnapping, plus an additional two years for felony firearm. He pleaded guilty in the case.

Deontae was last seen on surveillance footage being forced into a car outside the eastside market. The young teen was snatched after picking up $70 allegedly dropped by a drunken Walker.

The boy’s body was found in an eastside field. He had been beaten and tortured.

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