BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:30am December 07, 2023,

Woman pleads guilty to killing nephew with broom after blaming child’s murder on his 9-year-old sister

Yolanda Coale is accused of fatally beating her 4-year-old nephew -- Left photo credit: Mobile Metro Jail | Right photo via New York Post

An Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to fatally beating her 4-year-old nephew with a broom after initially claiming his 9-year-old sister was the perpetrator.

According to the New York Post, 55-year-old Yolanda Coale pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter on Monday and this comes after authorities found King Lyons’ body at her home in February 2022. Lyons, whose legal guardian was Coale, is said to have endured a long spell of abuse before he died.

In the wake of Lyons’ death, Coale claimed the minor was fatally beaten by his 9-year-old sister during a fight. Authorities subsequently arrested Lyons’ sister on an assault charge, but the juvenile denied killing her brother, FOX 10 TV reported. The charges against Lyons’ sister were ultimately dropped.

Authorities who responded to Coale’s home and found Lyons’ body noticed the victim had cuts and bruises that had reached different healing levels, a detective who took the stand during a 2022 preliminary hearing said. The detective also testified that it indicated Lyons had been abused over a lengthy period.

Besides the cuts and bruises, Lyons also had scars on his body. WKRG also reported that neighborhood children informed police their mom barred them from going to Coale’s house after they saw the 55-year-old physically assaulting Lyon on several instances.

A minor also opened up about seeing Coale take off Lyons’ clothes before using a diamond-studded belt to whip the victim. Coale, on another occasion, refused to give Lyons water as a result of his bathroom habits and proceeded to laugh at the minor as he drank out of the toilet, the New York Post reported. The neighborhood children claimed Coale said, “That’s what he gets.”

Coale is said to have physically assaulted Lyons with a broom, a backscratcher, and an electric cord. She also had a “lock-up” space in her home that she used to detain children who had behaved badly.

Coale was initially charged with felony murder, but she reached a plea agreement the day before her trial. Her charge was subsequently downgraded to manslaughter, meaning she now faces two to twenty years in prison. 

Her sentencing date has been set for February 15.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 7, 2023

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