Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Willingboro Public Safety Director Kinamo Lomon announced that a 20-year-old Willingboro Township man was charged today with fatally shooting a 21-year-old woman last month while she was sitting in her car in the Millbrook Park section of Willingboro Township.
Marvin A. Coleman Jr., of the first block of Marboro Lane, was charged with Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, (Second degree) and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree). He was taken into custody following a traffic stop this afternoon near his residence. A first appearance will be scheduled soon in Superior Court in Mount Holly. The case will then be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury.
The investigation revealed that Coleman had made arrangements on March 6 through the marketplace app OfferUp to purchase a used cell phone from Maribely Lopez, 21, of Lindenwold. The plan called for Lopez to meet Coleman in front of a vacant house in the first block of Medley Lane, which is a short walk through a field from the defendant’s residence on Marboro Lane.
But instead of buying the phone as planned, Coleman executed Lopez by firing a shot through the partially opened driver’s side window. The phone that was advertised for sale was discovered by investigators inside of the car. The motive for the killing remains under investigation.
“The evidence points to this murder occurring during a planned OfferUp transaction,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “People selling items online to strangers should exercise appropriate caution, such as utilizing safe transaction zones that many of our local police departments maintain in the parking lots of their stations.”
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood revealed that Lopez died from a single gunshot to the head.
Police were called to the scene by a Medley Lane resident just before 8:30 a.m. on March 7 for a report of a female in a parked car with an apparent gunshot wound. Arriving officers found Lopez in the driver’s seat of her Ford Focus with the engine still running. The investigation determined that the shooting likely occurred around 11 p.m. the night before.
Coleman will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BPCO Major Crimes Unit – Violent Crimes Section. The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Willingboro Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Tony Luyber and Willingboro Police Detective Jason Galiazzi.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.