A man accused of killing his girlfriend’s son and abandoning her three surviving children in a deplorable Houston-area apartment has been jailed for $1 million.
Brian Coulter, 31, appeared before a judge for the first time Thursday in the beating death of 8-year-old Kendrick Lee, whose remains were found in the home where his three brothers themselves lived, The Houston Chronicle reported.
Judge Kelly Johnson said that if released under the million-dollar bond, he would be released to house arrest, barred from contacting the deceased child’s siblings, possession of firearms, or drug or alcohol use.
Coulter currently faces only one count of premeditated murder, but prosecutors said the charge was “just a starting point.”
“This particular case represents a stark deviation from what we expect humans to do,” said Prosecutor Andrea Bell of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “The priority should be to make sure the surviving children get all the help they need.”
Williams, Coulter’s girlfriend and mother of children, Gloria Way.
The charges come after one of the child survivors, a 15-year-old boy, called 911 on Sunday to report that he and his two younger brothers had been living with Lee’s remains for about a year.
The deputies found that the teenager and two other brothers, ages 10 and 7, were living alone in deplorable conditions in the apartment.
Ed Gonzalez, Harris County Sheriff, said it appeared the surviving children were “defending each other,” with the older brother taking over the role of child caretaker.
Gonzalez said the two younger brothers appeared to be suffering from malnutrition and physical injuries.
Lee’s autopsy determined that the main cause of his death was “fatal violence with multiple injuries with blunt force”.