(RepublicanNews.org) – A 55-year-old Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter for the death of her 4-year-old nephew.
According to the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, Yolanda Denise Coale was charged with killing her nephew, King Lyons, with a broom by beating him. The victim’s 9-year-old sister was also charged in February 2022, although Law & Crime reported that the case has since been dropped.
Despite initially blaming the death on the victim’s sister, Coale pleaded guilty and denied any involvement from the child which, according to communications director for the attorney’s office Tara Zieman, lets the 9-year-old “off the hook.”
Testimony from a preliminary hearing revealed that the victim was “cold to touch,” had bruising around his eyes, as well as cuts to his nose and lips. Lyons’ body also showed other signs of abuse, such as historical abuse.
A 6-year-old relative who was present at the home alleged witnessing Coale slap and whip the 4-year-old on multiple occasions, often with a belt. The child witness also claimed there was a “lock-up room” for children to be put in by Coale if they misbehaved.
In addition, Coale, who was the victim’s caregiver, denied Lyons water due to potty incidents and laughed at the scene of him drinking from the toilet. “That’s what he gets,” Coale said, according to details from WKRG.
Testimony revealed that Coale had used a range of items to beat Lyons, such as a broom, a back scratcher, and an electrical cord.
She is due to be sentenced on February 15th, 2024.
Child abuse cases across the United States have fallen in recent years. Over the past decade, the number of reported victims increased to a peak of 683,221 in 2014, with this figure remaining somewhat stagnant until 2018. Since then, the number of reported cases has dropped considerably, with 588,229 reported in 2021. This marks the lowest level recorded since 2012 when there were a reported 656,372 instances of child abuse across the nation.
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