3 face perjury charges in Wyoming homicide case

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three people now face perjury charges in connection to the homicide of a Kentwood father last autumn.

Records show that James Parker, Corey Jones and Miqueenise Weed are accused of lying to prosecutors after they were subpoenaed. The felony perjury charges carry a life sentence.

In October, police found the body of 29-year-old Benjamin Lamar Coates on Plaster Creek Boulevard SW in Wyoming. His death was ruled suspicious and investigators eventually labeled it a homicide.

Coates’ mother Lynette Johnson said her son knew all three suspects. She said Parker was Coates’ “best buddy.”

“James, as being his friend, I’m still shocked,” Johnson told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

Weed and Parker each face two counts of perjury. Court documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show Weed allegedly lied to Kent County prosecutors while under oath about who was at her home on Oct. 19, the night Coates was killed. The charging documents also say she lied about the number of contacts she had with Coates the day before and after he was killed.

Authorities also say Parker knowingly lied under oath about his knowledge of who was involved in the incident and who he spoke to in the hours after Coates’ murder.

Court documents suggest there is digital evidence to prove the charges against Weed and Parker.

Court officials told 24 Hour News 8 that records were not available for Jones on Tuesday, but there was information about his past drug charges.

Coates’ mother said the perjury charges aren’t enough. She is looking for closure for herself and her son’s young daughter.

“We have somebody for perjury but I want a murderer. I want to know who did this to my son. I want them to be prosecuted,” she said.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told 24 Hour News 8 that no one has been charged with Coates’ murder, but that there are people they are investigating as persons of interest.

Police have remained tight-lipped about how Coates died and what information they’ve learned. In an email to 24 Hour News 8, Wyoming Police Capt. James Maguffee wrote:

“…We feel it is still necessary to be cautious with public statements right now. I can say the case is active and we’ve made and are making progress and are working closely with our colleagues at GRPD. For the integrity of the investigation, I’m not in a position to divulge anything further.”

Johnson feels investigators aren’t focused on her son’s death. She said she found items that were not hers inside her car, which her son had been driving, after police processed it. Johnson showed 24 Hour News 8 one of those items. She’s upset that forensics staff never picked up it as evidence.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety confirms she did contact them about the items, but could not say if anyone ever picked them up.

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