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Texas woman executed for starving child to death

September 22, 2014 · 

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Todd Unger, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth10:42 a.m. EDT September 18, 2014

Lisa Ann Coleman is set for execution Wednesday night in the death of 9-year-old Davontae Williams. (Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

Lisa Ann Coleman is set for execution Wednesday night in the death of 9-year-old Davontae Williams.
(Photo: Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas woman was executed Wednesday evening for her role in the torture and starvation death of her girlfriend’s  9-year-old son.

Lisa Ann Coleman, 38, died at 6:24 p.m. CT, 12 minutes after being injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Before the drug was administered, Coleman said goodbye to several friends and “the girls on the Row.” There was a slight gasp and her eyes  closed. Her death appeared to be calm and peaceful, in contrast with some other recent lethal injection executions in the U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied her final appeal less than two hours before her sentence was to be carried out.

Coleman became the ninth convicted killer and second woman to receive lethal injection in Texas this year. Nationally, she’s the 15th woman  executed since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume. During that same time, nearly 1,400 men have been put to  death.

 

Coleman, who was convicted in 2006 of kidnapping and starving to death DavontaeWilliams, spent Wednesday afternoon in a holding cell inside the Huntsville Unit of the Texas State Penitentiary. She was to be offered a final meal of either chicken or pork. She spent the morning talking with visitors, occasionally crying, and at other times laughing, according to prison officials.

Coleman was 28 when police and paramedics arrived at the Arlington apartment she shared with her girlfriend, Marcella Williams, in July 2004.

Court documents describe how Davontae’s body was found “so emaciated and underweight it was shocking.” The medical examiner later determined the boy weighed only 35.8 pounds, about half that of a normal 9-year-old. A pediatrician later would testify that he had more than 250 distinct injuries, including burns from cigarettes or cigars and scars from ligatures, and that a lack of food made him stop growing.

“There was not an inch on his body that not been bruised or scarred or injured,” said Dixie Bersano, one of Coleman’s trial prosecutors.

While Coleman went on trial first and received a death sentence — partly because of a prior criminal history — Williams reached a plea deal and is serving a life sentence.

In a recent interview, Coleman’s original trial attorney said that decision seemed to highlight why capital punishment needs to be reformed.

“She (Marcella) was as culpable in the death of Davontae Williams as my client, and that is what seems unfair,” Fred Cummings said.

Contributing: The Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/17/texas-execution/15778975/

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