A man accused of fatally shooting a woman he had agreed to meet in Willingboro so he could buy a used phone from her was convicted Wednesday, authorities said.
A Burlington County Superior Court jury deliberated Tuesday and Wednesday before returning guilty verdicts against 24-year-old Marvin A. Coleman, Jr., of Willingboro, on charges of felony murder, murder, robbery and weapons-related offenses, according to a statement from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Officers were called to the first block of Medley Lane just before 8.30am on March 7, 2019, for a report of a woman who had been found dead in a parked car with a gunshot wound, the office said. Maribely Lopez, 21, of Lindenwold was sitting in the driver’s seat of her Ford Focus with the engine still running and had been dead for almost nine hours before she was discovered.
Detectives said Coleman had made arrangements on March 6 through the marketplace app OfferUp to purchase a used cellphone from Lopez. They had agreed to meet in front of a house on Medley Lane, which is a short walk through a field from his home on Marlboro Lane, investigators said.
But instead of buying the phone, Coleman executed Lopez by firing a shot through the partially opened driver’s side window around 11pm, officials said. The phone that was advertised for sale was discovered by police inside of the car.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr Ian Hood revealed that Lopez died from a single gunshot to the head, authorities said.
Coleman was identified as a suspect and arrested and charged the next month, the office said. Officials did not comment on the motive for the shooting.
He was scheduled to be sentenced on June 9.
Lopez was a graduate of Lindenwold High School who loved sports, particularly basketball and soccer. She left behind her parents and two brothers, according to her obituary. – nj.com/Tribune News Service