Brian Coulter appears in court as Gloria Williams abandoned children describe house of horrors at Houston apartment and how their brother was killed.
How could these children suffer fo so long without anyone noticing…?
Shocking new details emerged during a Houston mother’s court appearance on Wednesday in connection with the murder of her abandoned eight-year-old son, including statements from her surviving three children who described witnessing their brother’s savage beating at the hands of the mother’s boyfriend along with seeing his discarded decomposing body over the course of eleven months.
Gloria Williams, 35, the victim’s mother, has been charged with injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence – a human corpse. A judge set her bond at $900,000.
Her boyfriend, Brian Coulter, 31, is charged with felony murder in connection with the death of the eight-year-old child, Kendrick Lee. His bond was set at $1million.
Coulter was not present in court on Wednesday because he was undergoing a mental health evaluation. It wouldn’t be until Thursday morning, that the boyfriend at the center of the Houston House of Horrors case made his first court appearance.
Horror abuse details revealed
The pair — who had been together for a couple of years and who sported matching ‘WARRIOR’ tattoos– were arrested on Tuesday at a public library, where they were said to have been looking up news stories online about their own case.
During Coulter’s first court appearance, the man signed documents barring him from making any contact with his girlfriend Gloria Williams’ three surviving sons. In the event the man made bond, Coulter would be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor, remain under house arrest and avoid contacting Williams reported KPRC.
The children’s mother appeared in court the previous day as prosecutors read aloud a statement of probable cause, which revealed that three of the mother’s surviving children witnessed Coulter beating Kendrick around Thanksgiving Day 2020.
A judge set William’s bond at $900,000. The mother was due back in court on Friday, but her next appearance will likely be rescheduled for next week.
The children claimed Coulter struck the eight-year-old with closed fists and kicked him in his face, feet, back, testicles and buttocks.
Williams’ 7-year-old son told deputies Coulter continued kicking Kendrick, who was lying on the floor and not moving, while staring at the younger brother who was in the room.
After Kendrick’s eyes turned black and he stopped blinking, Coulter covered him with a blue blanket, the prosecutor stated according to KTRK.
Mother failed to protect her children at hands of abusive boyfriend
When Williams entered the bedroom to check on her son and saw that he was dead, she began crying and fighting with Coulter.
Her 15-year-old son told investigators he believed his mother would call the police on Coulter, but ‘she never did.’ She then moved out of the apartment, leaving her surviving children with their brother’s rotting corpse and without any adult supervision.
William’s 10-year-old son told investigators that when Williams came by the apartment at a later date and lifted the blanket off of Kendrick, she found that ‘his body, feet and teeth had turned into a skeleton,’ and that ‘his hair was off.’ His decomposing corpse was said to have been covered with cockroaches.
The 10-year-old also claimed that Coulter would beat him as well, hitting him on the face, stomach, buttocks and legs, and broke his jaw as recent as three weeks ago according to the dailymail.
When police arrived at the apartment on Sunday, they found the child with a swollen jaw. At the hospital the following day, the boy said that his mother ‘was aware of the injury but did not seek or obtain medical aid for him,’ the prosecutor said.
Authorities said that the 10-year-old will require surgery to treat his facial fracture.
Textbook case of ongoing child abuse
When questioned by detectives, Williams claimed that when she entered the bedroom around Thanksgiving 2020 and found Coulter beating her son Kendrick, she stopped the attack.
After discovering the next day that Kendrick had died, Williams claimed that she confronted her boyfriend, who ‘stated he was sorry, that he lost it and punched him, and continued punching him until he went to sleep.’
Williams allegedly told investigators that she knew her son was dead a year ago, but she did not go to the police because Coulter had told her not to, and also because she was afraid that her children would be taken away and she would go to jail.
During a press conference held by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on Wednesday morning, investigators said that Williams’ the younger children had been subjected to ‘consistent’ beatings at Coulter’s hands and were never allowed out of the apartment.
‘This is a textbook case of a person that abuses children,’ said Harris County Sgt Dennis Wolfford.
Wolfford, who heads the sheriff’s homicide unit, also had some harsh words for Williams, calling her ‘an abuser by omission.’
The sergeant said that there is no evidence that the mom-of-six was a victim of domestic violence herself, and that she had a year to report her son Kendrick’s murder and her other children’s abuse, but she chose not to do it.
Sheriff Gonzalez said that at least two of the three brothers, ages 15, 10 and 7, are on the autistic spectrum. All three children told responding officers that they were hungry and requested donuts.
‘They were very sweet children, very nice, very well-spoken,’ Wolfford said, noting, however, that they had ‘blankness in the eyes.’
Left children in abandoned house with dead brother’s rotting corpse for nearly a year
He added: ‘it was very sad. They are good kids.’
Gonzalez offered some further disturbing details on what investigators found inside the family’s apartment, revealing that all that was left of Kendrick Lee’s body was a ‘dry’ skeleton, which was out in the open, and that the unit had no furniture or bedding, featured a spoiled rug and was swarming with flies and cockroaches.
According to the sheriff, Kendrick and his three surviving brothers were fathered by two different men, one of whom has died.
The apartment they were sharing was being paid for using government assistance while Williams and Coulter lived about 6 miles away. The sheriff said the mother would routinely stop by to drop off ‘junk food’ for her children.
‘They were distancing themselves from their child,’ Wolfford said of the couple. ‘They know the entire time there is a dead body inside that apartment.’
Williams and Coulter were initially picked up by deputies on Sunday. They were questioned and released, leaving many people to wonder why they had been let go.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Gonzalez and Sgt Wolfford explained that they did not have sufficient evidence to arrest them in the immediate aftermath of the gruesome discovery.
Williams’ 15-year-old son, who had been caring for his two younger brothers with the help of a neighbor who brought them food and charged their cell phone when the electricity to their home was cut, called 911, prompting the welfare check on Sunday.
Linda Smith, the grandmother of one of Williams’ children, said that had she known what was going on, she would have adopted her grandson, Ja’Veon Kirklin, 7, along with his brothers, Jordan Lee, 15, and Trevon Lee, 10. Williams’ daughter, 17-year-old Jasmine Whitaker, and another child were not living with the family.
Alief Independent School District told KTRK that in 2019 and 2020, the school district filed truancy papers against the siblings’ mother because two of them, Ja’Veon Kirklin and his older sister, were not attending school. The children were last enrolled in May 2020.
Both charges were later dismissed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith, Kirklin’s paternal grandmother, told the dailymail that Williams and her children stayed with her for a time in 2014 while the boy’s biological father was in jail.
The grandmother ultimately asked Williams to leave after learning that the woman had been bringing various men over to her house – a decision Smith now regrets.
‘The Gloria I knew never would have done this to her kids, but it looks like she did, I guess you never know someone,’ Smith said.
Child welfare services in Texas have also launched an investigation into the horror find at the apartment complex on Houston’s west side.
HCSO is now investigating to determine the circumstances that led to the death of the minor and how long the kids had been alone.
‘To ensure the safety of the children, the Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of the three boys,’ the agency said in a statement on Monday.
‘Child Protective Services does have history with the family, but there was no active CPS investigation at the time the children were discovered alone in their apartment.’
Residents of the area said that management had been doing inspection rounds in the area for the last couple of weeks.
A neighbor living next door to the siblings told KTRK she had no idea there was anyone occupying that unit, let alone children.
The neighbor in the apartment complex told KTRK that she complained for months about a foul odor emanating from the unit where the shocking discovery was made over the weekend.
She said that 13 or 14 months ago, she first noticed a vile odor wafting from what she thought was an abandoned apartment.
The neighbor said she complained several times to the building’s management about the smell, but it is unclear if anyone had gone to the unit housing the siblings to inspect it.
Police said the investigation is still in the preliminary stages .