‘It was betrayal’: Charges upgraded against women suspected of killing Henrico teenager

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)  —  Prosecutors have upgraded charges against two women suspected of murdering a Henrico teenager.

Martre Coles went missing in March. Weeks later, someone discovered the 19-year-old’s body in a wooded area not far from the airport.

Denise Gay and her daughter, Latoya Gay, are now charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

“It was betrayal,” the victim’s sister, Michelle Coles, told 8News. “She got him to trust her and then she did what she had to do.”

Police originally arrested the suspects for second degree murder.

Legal analyst Russ Stone explains the significance of bumping up the charges.

“In other words, the Commonwealth thinks it can prove that the murder was committed deliberately and willfully and intentionally,” Stone said.

According to court records just unsealed, a witness inside the home told police she saw the suspects put a plaster mask on Martre.

“I do really miss him. I wish I could have been there to save him.”  Marqweisha Coles

Then the witness says she heard him scream and Denise and Latoya sitting on top of the victim. She also watched them push a green container big enough to fit a body towards the door.

When a passerby discovered Cole’s body, it was inside a large plastic container. His hands were bound his back with a purple self-adhering elastic bandage.

“I just wish it had never happened to him like that,” Cole’s teary-eyed sister, Marqweisha Coles, said. “I do really miss him. I wish I could have been there to save him.”

The heartbreaking murder is taking a toll on the family who won’t have peace until they see justice.

“Life will be justice for me,” Marqweisha said. “They deserve life. You planned it. You actually went about doing it. It was just wrong.”

The suspects go on trial December 4th.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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