In February 2022, a 9-year-old girl beat her 4-year-old brother, King Lyons, to death with a broomstick. The investigation uncovered that King endured extensive abuse by his aunt, who has been released on bail while awaiting court proceedings.
Coale had custody of the children since January 2021.
Fox10 news spoke to King’s father who stated that King’s mother made the decision to leave their children with Coale and he had no idea where his son was. Fox10 news also reported that Coale’s daughter stated both of King’s parents didn’t want him or his sister, so her mother took them in to raise together. Neither story has been confirmed.
On February 3, 2022, Yolanda Cole woke up around midnight to the sounds of someone being hit and yelling around midnight When she went to investigate, she saw her 9-year-old niece beating her 4-year-old nephew with a broomstick.
Officers spoke to the 9-year-old, who they will not identify due to age, and found that she and King shared a room. She told officers that King was “fibbing with himself” and if he didn’t stop, she would hit him with a broomstick. King did not stop, and the 9-year-old hit him about 10 times until the broomstick broke. Around this time is when Coale woke up. Coale told the 9-year-old to put the broomstick in the garbage outside and to go to sleep.
Cole called the police in the morning when she woke up and found King unresponsive. When they arrived on the scene, King was on his back and had a pink towel on his face. King had bruises under his eyes, cuts on his nose and lips. King’s knee was swollen and the other one had bruising to it. Officers stated in court King was “cold to touch.”
Investigators disclosed King had multiple injuries that suggested the abuse he endured was long term. There were old scars on his buttocks and lower back.
Police discovered that Cole’s 6-year-old granddaughter was in the house at the time King was killed but never left her room. Upon talking to the 6-year-old, she revealed Coale had a specific room she called the “lock-up room”; Coale would put the children who did not behave in the room.
According to news outlets, a child from the neighborhood told police that Coale would whip King while he was naked with a “diamond-studded belt.” Another child told officers that King would have to drink out of the toilet because Coale would deny him water.
When police searched the house, they found the two pieces of a broomstick, a power cord, and multiple belts.
Coale’s granddaughter has been placed in the custody of family members.
Arrest & Charges
According to news outlets, Cole was arrested in 2005 for giving alcohol to a minor. In 2011, she was arrested for “child restraint.”
The 9-year-old has been charged with assault and is being held in a psychiatric hospital.
Coale was charged with aggravated child abuse given $150,000 bail. Coale paid bail on February 12, 2022. She is awaiting court proceedings.