'Let him go' witnesses say they told suspects who kidnapped Deontae Mitchell
DETROIT, MIch. (WJBK) - Thirteen-year old Deontae Mitchell kidnapped, murdered with his body dumped in a Detroit field.
Now the three people charged with the crime are in court, as we hear testimony for the first time.
We're learning more about what led to the abduction and the final moments of 13-year-old Deontae Mitchell’s life.
Several witnesses testified Thursday who said they saw and spoke to Deontae the night he went missing including the cousin of Gregory Walker who says he tried to help the teen.
"He was like hitting him on the head," said Cedric Bell, the stepfather of Deontae's cousin of Walker, describing the night police say Deontae Mitchell was kidnapped outside of a Detroit party store at gunpoint last month.
Bell testified at the preliminary exam for the three people charged with the kidnapping and murder - Gregory Walker his girlfriend, Lillian Roberts, and her son, Ernest Coleman.
"Whoever was in the backseat with the kid was hitting the kid, and that's when I was hollering 'Let that kid go,' Bell said.
Bell says he met Walker and Roberts when they came to his house looking for Deontae's cousin.
"He immediately bolted out of the car, had his pistol in his hand and was like 'If Javeon don't give me my money back, I'm going to put a bullet in his him, I already have his friend in the back seat,'" Bell said. "He just raised his pistol at me and that's when I slammed the front door."
Deontae's cousin testified that while at Nino's party store earlier that night Walker dropped $70. He and Deontae picked it up. Bell says afterward he saw Walker drive up in a black Impala to the party store afterward.
"I see this gentleman here pull up in a black car, pull a gun out and fire a shot off," Bell said.
Deontae Mitchell was found dead two days later in a field on Detroit's east side. The cousin of Walker testified Thursday that he saw Deontae the night of the kidnapping in the same car with these three.
Prosecutor: Did you ever call the police?
"No, because I didn't think he'd do anything to him," said John Reed, Walker's cousin.
Also testifying was Walker's nephew who says he saw Deontae's hands tied up, while crying and asking to go home.
Anthony Young says he even gave Walker some cash before heading into a casino.
"I gave him the money back," Young said. "I said I'd take the loss with the money that they took, just drop the little boy off at home."
Young says he never witnessed the three let Deontae go and the defense argues all of these witnesses never saw any of them hurt Deontae.
Attorneys for Roberts and Coleman minimized their involvement. Walker's cousin said he got a call from Walker from jail.
Prosecutor: "What did he say?"
"He said cuz, I messed up," Reed said.
The preliminary exam will continue July 12.