‘You took the power of God’ mom tells son’s killer

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two of three people who conspired to rob and ultimately murder a 29-year-old father were sentenced Thursday in a Grand Rapids courtroom. 

But before they went to serve their sentences, they had to endure the withering statements of the mother of the man killed. 

Benjamin Coates’ mother, Lynette Johnson, has been there for every hearing in this case and Thursday she faced the people who took her son from her and her now fatherless grandchild. 

“I will never be whole again. No one should feel or mourn the loss of a child,” Johnson said. “You took the power of God in your hands and you killed my son. You took him away from me, his daughter, his family.” 

Police say Coates showed up Oct. 18, 2018 at a home on Sheldon Avenue in Grand Rapids, intending to sell some marijuana to a repeat customer, Miqueenise Weed. 

Instead, Weed was there with her boyfriend Marcus Terrell and his friend Corey Jones with the plan to rob Coates.

“How could you? You have kids,” Johnson said to Weed who was standing a few feet away. 

But on the night of his death, Coates fought back, police say. They say Terrell and Jones spent five minutes beating and strangling the victim until he died. 

“You took his life — his last breath. Imagine that, being not able to breathe, I feel that every day,” Johnson told Terrell. “Please tell me why — why you killed my baby?” 

After killing him, police say the trio drove his car to a road on Plaster Creek Boulevard SW near South Division and Buchanan avenues in Wyoming. They then left him there where he was discovered some hours later.

Terrell, who was on parole for a 2008 armed robbery in Wayne County, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and unarmed robbery.

He was sentenced Thursday to 29 to 80 years in prison after a tearful apology. 

“And as God as my witness, I’m telling you the truth — I’m sorry. Please forgive me someday in your heart,” Terrell said to the mother. 

Weed took a deal in June, pleading to attempted murder and unarmed robbery. She provided the details that helped police make the other arrests. Without a plea deal, she was facing a minimum of 14 to 23 years in prison. But instead she was sentenced to a year in jail for which she has already served 324 days. 

Johnson said she holds Weed particularly responsible because she was friends with her son, and she set up the whole thing. 

“May you burn in hell, may God show you no pity and no mercy,” Johnson said to Weed. 

On Dec. 5, the final member of the murderous trio will be sentenced.

Jones also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces a minimum of 19 years in prison. 

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