HOUSTON — The new attorney for Gloria Williams plans to request a lower bond at a hearing later this week.
Williams, the Houston mother accused in connection with the death of her 8-year-old son Kendrick Lee, was in court Monday morning with defense attorney Neil Davis III. Williams is charged with injury to a child, injury to a child by omission and tampering with a human corpse.
After the hearing, the court-appointed attorney said he thinks the total bond of $900,000 is too high.
"We gotta dig into the facts of this case and see what part she played in it. I mean, it’s been played out in the press, so far, that she’s just as guilty as anybody else, this is her boyfriend. We don’t know that yet," Davis said. "We need to start looking at the case and see what’s going on before we – everybody – finds her guilty. She’s not guilty yet.”
Davis admitted the case is complicated because Kendrick died nearly a year ago.
“The forensics in this are gonna be important, the investigation in this is gonna be important, the kids in this – and what they’ve said and what they’ve seen – are gonna be important. We need to figure out what’s going on.”
Prosecutor Andrea Beall will argue for a higher bond at a Friday hearing in order to keep Williams behind bars.
“We just want to ensure the community’s safety. This case has shocked the conscience of our community, as well as the nation and we need to make sure we find answers as to how a mother could allow this happen to her children and hold her accountable," Beall said Monday.
New details in the case
Williams' boyfriend, 31-year-old Brian Coulter is charged with murdering Kendrick and he remains jailed on a $1 million bond.
The boy's skeletal remains were found in the west Harris County apartment where his three brothers, ages 15, 10 and 7, were found living alone.
“The apartment was in a horrible condition. We saw soiled carpet, no furniture at all. No bedding, no blankets that we could see. We saw roaches and flies and very bad condition for anyone to live in,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a news conference last week.
He said Coulter and Williams stayed in the apartment with the boy's remains for about five months before leaving the three boys to fend for themselves.
"I believe it was absolute fear," HCSO Lt. Dennis Wilford said when asked why the teen didn't call 911 sooner. "Over time, I believe that the beatings were consistent, mainly directed at the younger children, and the 15-year-old was absolutely afraid, basically, hoping and relying on his mother to at some point to contact law enforcement... and that didn't happen."
The teen told investigators Coulter would lock him in the bedroom and he could hear his mother's boyfriend beating his younger siblings, officials said in court.
'Abuser by omission'
Wilford said it doesn't appear the mother participated in any of the physical abuse of the children. Coulter and Williams had been dating for several years, the lieutenant said.
"I would say they are both an abuser," Wilford said. "He's an abuser physically, and she's an abuser by omission."
The sheriff's office hasn't confirmed any blood relation between Coulter and the children. Gonzalez said two of the children have different fathers, one "who is out of the picture" and the other who investigators believe is deceased.
The children are now in foster homes under CPS care.
Gonzalez said there are also two teen daughters who were not inside the apartment when Kendrick was killed.