Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 19, 2024
Houston Horror: Man Gets Life Without Parole for Murder of Partner's Child, Boy's Remains Left for a YearSource: Harris County District Attorney’s Office

In a case that has gripped the city with its brutality, Houston lawyer James Stafford, with over five decades of experience, recalls none as disturbing as the trial of Brian Coulter. The man was sentenced on Monday to a life term without parole for the murder of his girlfriend's 8-year-old child, Kendrick Lee, whose body was left in an apartment for a year. Stafford told the Houston Chronicle that Coulter's decision to waive a jury trial, opting instead to place his fate directly in the hands of a jurist, was the wisest one he ever made.

The macabre details emerged in the courtroom, with the boy's siblings testifying to the nightmarish living conditions and the abuse they endured from Coulter. According to the KIAH report, Coulter and his wife then moved out and left Lee's body, covered with a blanket, in the care of his three other children. It took a full year before one of the boys sought help to quickly bring this horror to light.

Judge Kelli Johnson handed down the life sentence for the heinous act which left Lee's remains, only bones by the time authorities discovered them. "I had to painstakingly listen and take notes, as both sides deserved, to be fair," Johnson said, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle. The grim details shook court officials and the public alike, with a prosecutor noting, "If you care about anyone, care about children, care about people — how could it not bother you," to KIAH.

While Coulter begins his life sentence, the plight of the children, witnesses to a chapter of darkness few could fathom, remains heavy on the minds of those involved in the case. Charges are still looming against the mother, Gloria Williams, who is due to stand trial. Neal Davis III, her attorney, has continued to engage in plea discussions, in part to spare the children from having to recount their harrowing experiences. "Gloria doesn’t want to put the kids through that again, and neither do we," Davis said, as he told the Houston Chronicle.