The man charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s eight-year-old son at a Texas horror house is a “textbook case of a person who maltreats children,” according to law enforcement.
Harris County officials said at a press conference Wednesday that Brian Coulter abused his girlfriend Gloria William’s children “systematically” for several years, before he beat and gave Kendrick Lee to death in November 2020 .
The abuse continued even after Kendrick’s murder, when the couple abandoned their three surviving children in the Harris County apartment alongside their brother’s decaying body, officials said.
When the three children – aged 15, nine and seven – were finally rescued on Sunday, one of the youngest was found to have an untreated jaw injury that was believed to have been caused by Coulter a few weeks ago in sadness.
The young child is now due to undergo surgery for the injury, officials said.
Brian Coulter was arrested and charged with the murder of Kendrick Lee on Tuesday, two days after authorities discovered Kendrick’s skeletal remains in a CityParc II unit at West Oaks Apartments in Harris County, Texas, alongside his three hungry brothers.
The 31-year-old allegedly murdered Kendrick on November 20, 2020 with punches and kicks to the death, according to the criminal complaint.
For the next 11 months, the boy’s body was pushed into a closet to decompose while his three brothers were left on their own in the apartment, according to the documents.
Coulter’s bail was set at $ 1 million on Wednesday morning and he is currently being held in a mental health facility.
Williams was also arrested Tuesday and charged with the misdemeanor of injuring a child by omission and tampering with a human corpse.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the charges could be increased or other charges could be added in the case.
The 35-year-old mother of four is accused of hiding her son’s death, starving one of her other surviving sons and failing to protect another from injury.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told the press conference there was “no evidence” that Williams had also been abused by her boyfriend.
He said Coulter and Williams had been a couple for a few years and that “the beating has been constant over the years” to the children.
Coulter is not the biological father of any of the four children.
Officials said they learned the children were from two different fathers, one of whom is said to have died while the other was not involved in his children’s lives.
Williams is also believed to have two other children who do not live in the apartment or with the couple.
Sergeant Denis Wolford called the situation inside the Horror House “classic child abuse”, calling Coulter a “very manipulative person”.
Although Williams is not accused of being violent towards his children, Sgt. Wolford said the mother and her boyfriend were “both abusers”.
“He is the physical aggressor and she is the aggressor by omission,” he said.
Sgt. Wolford said Williams and Coulter left the apartment, abandoning the children sometime after Kendrick’s murder.
They lived in an apartment about 25 minutes away to “distance themselves from the dead child” when they “knew all the time that his corpse was in the apartment,” he said.
The abuse continued during this time, he said.
In the case of the child’s jaw injury, the sergeant said he believed the child may have been taken elsewhere, abused and then returned.
Sheriff Gonzalez said the living conditions the children were subjected to were “unspeakable”, describing the soiled rugs, cockroaches and flies, and the lack of furniture and even bedding on which children can sleep.
The sheriff said finding the children in such a horrific situation was “for law enforcement veterans the most disturbing incident they have worked on in their entire law enforcement career.”
“It sounded too horrible to be real,” he said.
The 15-year-old had called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday afternoon to report that his younger brother had been dead for a year and his parents were not living with him and his two surviving siblings in the apartment for many months. .
The sheriff said deputies at the scene found the “dry skeletal remains” of Kendrick and the three children who were all “very skinny”, starving and suffering from injuries.
“The mother, in our opinion, provided food by delivery service or had food dropped off on a fairly routine basis,” Sheriff Gonzalez said, adding that it was junk food.
At least two of the children have autism and none have been to school for more than a year, officials said.
A spokesperson for the Alief Independent School District said The independent Tuesday that the children had not been enrolled since May 2020 and that absenteeism complaints had been filed against Williams for the children in 2019 and 2020.
“The children [appeared] younger than their chronological age. They were very nice kids, ”Sgt. Wolford said.
He added that the 15-year-old was too scared to alert authorities to what was going on as officers praised the teenager’s bravery for coming forward over the weekend.
“Amid the darkness of this horrific situation, I am so happy that the 15-year-old has asked for help,” Sheriff Gonzalez said.
He said he hoped that surviving children could now get “the love, support and protection they desperately need and deserve.”
“We hope their future is better than their past,” he said.
“May this little angel rest in peace – was unlucky,” he said of their brother Kendrick.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has placed the surviving children in emergency detention.
The Independent Gt