HOUSTON - A couple charged in the brutal beating death of 4-year-old Emma Thompson faced a Houston judge Tuesday morning.

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Mom, boyfriend charged in death of 4-year-old girl
August 10, 2009

The judge set bond at $50,000 for Abigail Elizabeth Young, Emma's mother.

He denied bail for Lucas Ruric Coe who remains in the Harris County Jail.

In video of the hearing, Young and Coe stood side by side several feet apart as they faced the judge.

Other accused criminals in the courtroom could be seen shaking their heads in disgust and covering their faces, shocked by the allegations leveled against Coe.

Emma died at a Woodlands hospital on June 27.

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The autopsy showed Emma had "80 contusions, a severe head laceration, a scalp hemorrhaging, skull fracture, internal bleeding, a severe tear and hemorrhaging to the vagina."

The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the abdominal area which had caused several internal injuries.

Young and Coe are charged with felony injury to a child.

Young was arrested Monday at Trinity Hospital in Brenham where she works as a registered nurse.

Coe was arrested at a relative's home in Montgomery County.

The Gulf Coast Major Offenders Unit says that Coe tried to flee, but surrendered after a short foot chase.

CPS began investigating the family in early June after Emma's father called to report she was covered in bruises.

"These injuries occurred in the same time frame that defendant Coe started staying with defendant Coe at Young's residence," according to the probable cause warrant.

Young initially told investigators Emma was hurt when she fell out of bed.

"The statements given by both the mother of the child and the boyfriend were inconsistent with injuries presented," said Anthony Kelly, who worked on the case.

A doctor discovered Emma also had oral and genital herpes.

CPS began investigating, but they didn't remove Emma from the home. Weeks later, she was dead.

Sheriff's detectives say there are now open investigations into every child that the couple has come into contact with including Coe's own 4-year-old daughter.

CPS also had investigated Coe three times in unrelated cases involving another girlfriend's child. He has a criminal history that includes charges of assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.

If convicted, a felony injury to a child charge could result in a life sentence.

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