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Police: Lansing man was tortured, killed after stealing a dollar from a child's bedroom

Posted at 8:30 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 17:53:17-04

LANSING, Mich. — Corey Dalton went to Marissa Gilbert's apartment three days before he died. He was there so often he didn't need to knock, just went in. That day, he bought a cigarette from her for a dollar, according to testimony given to Lansing police.

But when Gilbert found out he'd taken the dollar from her daughter's bedroom, she got upset, Lansing police Detective Ellen Larson said during the hearing that led to murder charges against Gilbert and Sharnae Cook

Police say the chain of events that started with a stolen dollar ended in the early morning hours of May 5, when officers found Dalton burned outside a townhome in the 4100 block of Woodbridge Drive. He was pronounced dead that day.

Gilbert and Cook had gone looking for Dalton and, when they found him, forced him into a car and brought him back to Gilbert's apartment on Dorchester Circle, Cook later told police, according to Larson's testimony.

They beat him until he bled, Larson said, stomped on his head, broke a lamp over him, hit him with a belt.

It went on until the early hours of Tuesday morning, Larson said until Gilbert asked Dalton if he would turn her into the police if she let him go. He didn't answer.

"So at that point, Miss Gilbert tells Mr. Dalton he’s gonna have to die," Larson said. "‘Well, you’re just gonna have to die’ is basically how it went."

Cook told police Gilbert also believed that Dalton might have had something to do with the death of one of her friends. He had been dating the woman at the time she was found dead in a wooded area near Gilbert's apartment but was never charged in the crime.

The two women took Dalton to a townhome in the 4100 block of Woodbridge Drive, Larson said. It had been Cook's apartment but she was being evicted.

There they poured bleach down his throat, stabbed him, pushed him down basement stairs, Larson said.

Dalton fought for his life, Cook told police. It wasn't enough.

They left him there and, when they returned early Wednesday morning with gasoline they'd bought from a Quality Dairy, Dalton was dead, Cook told police.

They'd meant to take his body to nearby woods, but Cook told police she got tired. They burned the apartment and Dalton's body, Larson said.

After Dalton's death, police got an anonymous tip that Gilbert had killed someone with another woman's help, Larson said.

After getting a search warrant for Gilbert's apartment, they found photos of Dalton that appeared to have been taken after he died, she said, and a video.

On the video, "you could see obvious injuries to his body at that point," Larson said. "You could see blood and you could hear him moaning in the background."

Gilbert's attorney did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Cook did not have an attorney listed in court records.

Both women were scheduled to appear in Eaton County Circuit Court on Monday morning.

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