|For Immediate Release
June 14, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ORANGE AND RIVERSIDE PROSECUTORS TO
JOINTLY OPPOSE PAROLE OF MAN WHO BRUTALLY RAPED AND MURDERED TWO WOMEN IN 1975
SANTA ANA / RIVERSIDE – Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Riverside District Attorney Rod Pacheco are joining together to oppose the parole of a man who brutally raped and murdered two women in Orange and Riverside Counties in 1975. Gregory Coates, 50, formerly of Rubidoux, is currently being held at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, California near Modesto. Coates is a life prisoner with a parole consideration date of June 20, 2007.
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart and Riverside Deputy District Attorney John Ruiz will appear. Victim Advocate Marilyn Baldwin will accompany Ruiz.
ORANGE COUNTY MURDER OF STEPMOTHER BETTY COATES
On May 4, 1975, Coates, then 18, bludgeoned, raped, and suffocated his stepmother, Betty Coates, 48. After murdering her, Coates wrapped his stepmother in towels, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. Her burnt body was discovered in her home in San Juan Capistrano.
RIVERSIDE MURDER OF JEAN MARIE STEPHENS
Coates’ Orange County arrest led law enforcement to solve Coates’ murder of his friend’s mother. The Stephens family had treated Coates, then 17, as a member of the family. Coates even stated that he felt closer to Jean Stephens, 37, since she treated him better than his own mother. On January 22, 1975, Coates burglarized the Stephens’ home looking for firearms to steal and sell. When Jean Stephens discovered him, Coates knocked her down with a dumbbell, raped her and bit her stomach as she screamed for help. He then shot her in the head twice with a firearm he had stolen from her. The victim’s battered nude body was discovered in a pool of blood by her 11-year-old daughter in their Mira Loma home. Coates pretended to be a supportive friend to the victim’s son after the murders and even attended her funeral.