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Three charged over murder of Detroit teen who picked up $70

Deontae Mitchell was beaten, kidnapped and choked to death in Detroit.

13-year-old Deontae Mitchell
13-year-old Deontae Mitchell
Image: AP/Detroit Police Department

THREE PEOPLE WERE charged today in the death of a 13-year-old Detroit boy, who prosecutors say was beaten and choked and whose body was dumped in a vacant lot after he picked up about $70 that had been dropped outside of a convenience store.

“There’s not a whole lot that shocks seasoned prosecutors, but there are some things you just cannot explain,” Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said at a news conference where she announced the charges.

Gregory Walker (45), Lillian Roberts (43) and 26-year-old Earnest Coleman face charges of murder, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, torture and gun crime.

Walker is accused of choking Deontae Mitchell to death with help from Roberts and Coleman.

All three are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon. Coleman had been charged and arraigned on kidnapping in the case over the weekend.

“There is no excuse for what happened to him and the way he was treated,” Worthy said of Deontae, whom she called a “victim” regardless of the circumstances.

Forced into a car

Prosecutors say Deontae and a friend, who was described by police as a cousin, were riding bikes on the east side of  Detroit late on 31 May.

The cousin told police that Deontae picked up some money dropped by one of the men now charged outside of a market.

Deontae rode away, Worthy said, and surveillance video shows him being pursued by a man who grabbed his arm and forced him into a car.

Deontae’s body was found a week ago in a vacant lot in Detroit. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the three people charged had attorneys in this case.

A fourth person had been arrested last week, but Worthy said today that only three are charged.

Walker was arrested in Ohio, extradited to Detroit and pleaded guilty yesterday to violating probation and other crimes stemming from a 2013 case.

Comments have been disabled as the case is due before the courts. 

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Associated Press

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