A man from Burlington County will spend the rest of his life in prison for fatally shooting a woman in the head following a hoax cell phone purchase in 2019.

25-year-old Marvin A. Coleman, Jr., of Willingboro Township, was convicted in March on first-degree felony murder, murder, robbery, and second-degree weapons charges.

On Friday, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

An investigation began after police were called to the first block of Medley Lane in Willingboro on the morning of March 7th, 2019, for a report of a woman in a parked car with an apparent gunshot wound.

Arriving officers found Maribely Lopez of Lindenwold in the driver's seat of her Ford Focus with the engine still running.

Medley Lane in Willingboro NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Medley Lane in Willingboro NJ - Photo: Google Maps

Detectives determined the shooting occurred around 11:00 the night before.

The investigation further revealed that Coleman had made arrangements on March 6 through the marketplace app OfferUp to purchase a used cell phone from Lopez. They agreed that Lopez would meet Coleman in front of a house on Medley Lane, which is a short walk through a field from the defendant’s residence on Marlboro Lane.


But instead of buying the phone, 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.

An autopsy performed by the Burlington County Medical Examiner revealed that Lopez died from a single gunshot to the head.

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Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw said in a statement,

We are committed to bringing those who terrorize our citizens to justice. Today, a punishment worthy of this senseless killing was imposed. This defendant will have the rest of his time on earth to consider the life he took and the lives he ruined by doing so. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family members and friends of the victim.

This investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Willingboro Township Police Department.

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