3 plead guilty in Detroit teen’s slaying

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Three people pleaded guilty Wednesday in the kidnapping and killing of a 13-year-old Detroit boy who vanished this year after reportedly taking less than $100 outside an east side store, prosecutors said.

The group pleaded before Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Hathaway.

Ernest Coleman faced charges of torture, unlawful imprisonment, felony firearm, felon in possession and habitual third offender in the slaying of Deontae Mitchell, said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. A sentence evaluation found 12-15 years on the torture charge, 10-15 years for unlawful imprisonment, 1-5 years for felon in possession and 2 years for felony firearm, consecutive.

Lillian Roberts pleaded to second-degree murder and kidnapping charges for a sentencing agreement of 24-40 years behind bars, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

Gregory Walker pleaded to second-degree murder, kidnapping and felony firearm charges. His sentencing agreement calls for 40-60 years.

All three were bound over in July to stand trial on charges in the death.

Video footage from the scene captured the teen being forced into a car May 31 by a man, whom authorities identified as Walker, outside Nino’s Market.

Deontae’s 13-year-old cousin testified that he and Deontae scooped up money they saw Walker drop earlier after he urinated behind the business.

Prosecutors allege the teen was abducted and driven around the city while Walker tried to force the boy to tell him where he lived.

A witness said the teen cried and begged to be released, his hands bound with white rope.

Coleman is accused of restraining Deontae while he was in the car with Walker and Roberts, Coleman’s mother.

Deontae’s body was found June 2 in an east-side field.

An attorney who represented Roberts has said her client had nothing to do with injuring or killing Deontae.

Walker’s attorney said he maintains the death was an accident.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9.