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Capital murder trial starts for man accused in death of boy whose body was found in apartment

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The trial started Tuesday for the man accused in the 2021 murder of 8-year-old Kendrick Lee.

Brian Coulter is accused of beating Kendrick to death and leaving his body to decompose for a year in an apartment. Kendrick’s brothers, including a 15-year-old who ultimately called 911, were in that same apartment with his body the entire time.

Investigators described the scene they found inside an Alief-area apartment three years ago as horrific and heartbreaking.

The boys were in the unit with no electricity, no beds to sleep on, roaches everywhere, and, as one investigator recalled, a distinct smell.

Authorities say Kendrick was killed around the third week of November 2020, allegedly by Coulter, the boyfriend of the children’s mother, Gloria Williams.

Coulter is accused of beating Kendrick, repeatedly kicking and punching him while one of his brothers was inside the room. That’s where Kendrick’s body remained.

On November 23, 2020, Coulter was arrested in Luling, Texas, for unlawful possession of a weapon.

Months later in March 2021, court records show Coulter and Williams moved out of the apartments on Green Crest Drive and abandoned the children.

The couple lived in a separate apartment 25 minutes away. According to the boys, Williams and Coulter would go back every few weeks to drop off some food, but during those trips, Coulter would also beat them.

By around or September or October of that year, the electricity was cut off to the apartment.

On Oct. 24, 2021, the 15-year-old called police, saying their mother had left them alone for months. One of the boys was beaten so badly he needed surgery on his jaw. The children also said they weren’t allowed to leave the unit.

Two days later, on Oct. 26, 2021, Coulter and Williams were arrested outside the Robinson-Westchase Library on Wilcrest, where they were captured on surveillance video.

Sources say they were at the library searching for news articles about the case.

By this time, Williams’ sons were in CPS custody.

Coulter is charged with capital murder and Williams is charged with injury to a child by omission and tampering with her son’s corpse.

Coulter will have a bench trial, meaning there will be no jury since he waived his right to a jury trial back in January.

The trial began with opening statements.

According to court documents, it’s possible the surviving children will testify.

The trial is expected to last a week.

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston.