View Full Version : Lisa Coleman/Marcella Williams


beez0811
02-07-2007, 09:47 AM
Mother pleads guilty in starvation of boy, 9


Fort Worth: She gets life in prison; girlfriend on death row for her role

08:13 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 20, 2006


By DEBRA DENNIS / The Dallas Morning News
FORT WORTH The mother of a 9-year-old Arlington boy who starved to death has pleaded guilty to capital murder.
Marcella Williams, 25, was sentenced Monday to life in prison for the 2004 death of Davontae Williams.
The plea agreement allowed Ms. Williams to avoid a possible death sentence. She will have to serve at least 40 years before becoming eligible for parole.
"We think it was the right thing to do," said Mitch Poe, an assistant Tarrant County district attorney.
"Her family had gone to her and said, 'Go ahead and plead guilty. You know you're guilty. You know you did it. Don't put us through another trial.' "
Much of Davontae's short, neglected life was played out in June during the capital murder trial of Lisa Ann Coleman, his mother's girlfriend.
Ms. Coleman, 30, is on death row for her role in the boy's death.
Davontae's body was found July 26, 2004, at the home he shared with Ms. Williams and Ms. Coleman.
Davontae was malnourished and had more than 250 scars or wounds on his body, officials said. He weighed about 35 pounds not much more than a toddler, Mr. Poe said.
Child Protective Services conducted several investigations throughout the boy's life.
Davontae's history of abuse dates back to a first report to CPS when he was 2 months old. The agency would go on to make five more reports of neglect or physical abuse.
Davontae was removed from his mother's home in October 1999 after a caseworker found him scarred and hungry. The boy was reunited with his family a year later.
In June 2001, there were more reports of neglect, but the family fled before caseworkers could catch up to them.
In a sixth and final report in October 2002, CPS interviewed Davontae at Webb Elementary School, which he attended. The following month, his mother withdrew him from school and told officials she was moving.
Davontae remained hidden from social workers and school officials until paramedics were called to breathe life into his emaciated body.
"It's a very sad ending to a very sad set of events," Mr. Poe said.
Since Marcella is the mother and Lisa was her partner, why is Lisa still on the row?

crzyrussell
02-07-2007, 10:28 AM
Probably because Marcella made a plea agreement and Lisa took it to trial. Had Marcella took it to trial she too would probably be on death row. Lisa should have taken a plea deal also. Since the mother took a deal it is a stretch to compare their sentences.

DaveMoff
02-07-2007, 02:27 PM
Sounds as if CPS did a "wonderful" job in this case as well....someone tell me why none of the social workers involved in this are at the very least being tried for negligent homicide or the Texas equivalent?

Arkyfaith
02-08-2007, 08:02 PM
Amen dave when are all the social workers goign to be held accountable for their role in these cases that seem to be coming at us left and right? When are we gogin to tell these goverment officals who are to protect the kids enough is enough? how many more precious kids have to live threw hell at the expense of the governemt?

DaveMoff
02-08-2007, 08:36 PM
I do not by any means excuse or condone the actions of those who harmed the child in this case. But it is clear that there were others involved directly with the child's wellbeing apart from the mother and her partner. If the state is going to take on the responsibility of being a "parent", that should include ALL responsibility, including accountability.

KARMA1234
02-08-2007, 08:53 PM
Amen dave when are all the social workers goign to be held accountable for their role in these cases that seem to be coming at us left and right? When are we gogin to tell these goverment officals who are to protect the kids enough is enough? how many more precious kids have to live threw hell at the expense of the governemt?

Before there is the government there is the woman who spreads her legs to have this child...First and foremost it is the responsibility of this PARENT to protect this child!!!!!!!!!!! if the said PARENT was doing the job is makes the decision to do by giving birth, there would be less need for protective services!! I totally agree that the overworked, overwhelmed Child Protective Office is who probably understaffed did FALL DOWN on the job once again, HOWEVER, before it becomes their fault lets put the fault where it squarely lies... on the said MOTHER?? well cant exactly call her that can we??
This case and the ones like it sadden me and break my heart!! I look at my son and I thank God for that blessing! Granted I totally understand difficulty raising a child by myself who has severe ADHD and ADD, but in the end he is my gift fromGod.. When I gave birth to this little boy, I understood that his welfare would be my responsibilyt for a LONG TIME TO COME and my single life as I knew it before was OVER... therefore what happens to this child IS MY responsibility!! Not the governments!! My heart bleeds for that little boy.. I cant even imagine his hell at the hands of the person that had been intrusted with his welfare and his well being!!!:angry: :angry:

DaveMoff
02-08-2007, 11:32 PM
Karma--I applaud your efforts as a good mother, and thank heaven for people like you. We have CPS allegedly as a safety net--to protect innocent children from being victimized. But when it fails to protect a child after six reports (more than one with documented abuse) and nearly nine years, that goes beyond being overworked and understaffed. That is purely and simply criminal negligence. None of which excuses the actions of the mother and her partner in any way. We're talking about a "protective service" here which removed the child from the home due to documented abuse AND THEN SENT HIM BACK!

Probably worth noting that there was no father present through all this, either. Unless the pregnancy occurred via sperm bank, there's a man out there who bears some responsibility in this matter as well.

KARMA1234
02-08-2007, 11:43 PM
You are so right Dave... There is man out there who obviously walked his obligation to a child and that in itself is a crime that happens all too often... Maybe it would have made a difference here, maybe not? we will never know unfortunately!I am grateful that my son's father ( who is presently incarcerated) is finally in our sons life... It took a while , but I did get them together and there is now love and a bond that will never be denied... Unfortunately it will still be a couple of years till he can kiss our son goodnight, but it will come!! Thank you Lord for blessings!!
My heart just hurts after hearing about this little boy and I cant for the life of me understand how this happened nor why it happened but I dont in any way disagree with you about liability on the state's part as well! That child should have never been given back to the natural birth woman . I just cant call her Mother sorry!! It happens way too many times in my humble opinion... I just dont understand!!

crzyrussell
02-09-2007, 09:57 AM
HOWEVER, before it becomes their fault lets put the fault where it squarely lies... on the said MOTHER?? well cant exactly call her that can we??

You are so right. The blame lays solely on the mother and her partner. Yes it is unfortunate the CPS didn't grasp the situation in time. CPS is in a bad situation.. they are dammed if they do or dammed if they don't. no matter what they do people are upset at them and take their anger out on them. However the mother is still responsible for what she did.

funtie8
02-09-2007, 03:44 PM
I worked for CPS in Dallas Co for 7 long years. Tarrant Co CPS is legendary for their relaxed system. However, while I do not agree that the death penalty is a deteriate for crime I am also against the abuse/neglect and murder of children. I think when we are fighting against the death penalty it is so easy to forget about the innocent victims. I have absolutely no compassion for the two women who viciously killed this sweet little boy. Whatever happens to them is a consequence of their own actions. The CPS worker did not kill this child- HIS MOTHER AND HER GIRLFRIEND DID!!! The boys father while he should have been there protecting and caring for his son did not kill him. It saddens me to think of what this child went through in his life. His mother and that woman she was with will at least eat every day, have clean clothes and be able to communicate with others. I am sure it we will eventually see letters from them claiming abuse in prison- how ironic. I can only be thankful that his soul now rest in the loving arms of God and hope that the woman that killed him fall at Gods mercy and come to one day understand what they did and how wrong and barbaric it was. No child deserves the treatment he received. So, while we fight against the death penalty let us not forget this child. He lived a horrible life. I think when we focus mainly on the perpetrators we diminish the validity of our fight. Blaming anyone besides those responsible does not make sense. I for one am thankful those murders have to live everyday facing what they did and when they come to accept their part I only hope they will cry out to God for forgiveness.

venicespirit
02-09-2007, 03:53 PM
Funtie8, that's interesting what you said about Tarrant county having relaxed CPS system. I would have totally thought the opposite, being in the bible belt and all.......... Tarrant Co. has the stricttest adoption laws in the country or atleast they used to.

sligoker
02-09-2007, 03:54 PM
I worked for CPS in Dallas Co for 7 long years. Tarrant Co CPS is legendary for their relaxed system. However, while I do not agree that the death penalty is a deteriate for crime I am also against the abuse/neglect and murder of children. I think when we are fighting against the death penalty it is so easy to forget about the innocent victims. I have absolutely no compassion for the two women who viciously killed this sweet little boy. Whatever happens to them is a consequence of their own actions. The CPS worker did not kill this child- HIS MOTHER AND HER GIRLFRIEND DID!!! The boys father while he should have been there protecting and caring for his son did not kill him. It saddens me to think of what this child went through in his life. His mother and that woman she was with will at least eat every day, have clean clothes and be able to communicate with others. I am sure it we will eventually see letters from them claiming abuse in prison- how ironic. I can only be thankful that his soul now rest in the loving arms of God and hope that the woman that killed him fall at Gods mercy and come to one day understand what they did and how wrong and barbaric it was. No child deserves the treatment he received. So, while we fight against the death penalty let us not forget this child. He lived a horrible life. I think when we focus mainly on the perpetrators we diminish the validity of our fight. Blaming anyone besides those responsible does not make sense. I for one am thankful those murders have to live everyday facing what they did and when they come to accept their part I only hope they will cry out to God for forgiveness.


:thumbsup:

DaveMoff
02-11-2007, 01:12 AM
I do not and would not excuse the perpetrators of this crime (I don't know a lot of the details, but it seems as if they are indeed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt) of anything. Neither will I excuse the social worker(s) who at least once removed the child from the home, then returned him to that home knowing damned well what would happen (unless of course they were complete idiots, which is by no means impssible).

If I let my child go to play with another child in the house down the block and there is underage drinking, drug use, or domestic violence going on in that house, I can be charged with reckless endangerment or criminal neglect. If the State wishes to act in loco parentis, then its agents must accept the same consequences.

This case is actually a lovely example of my long-time belief that the best way to be left alone by Social Services is to be as combative and abusive as possible. "Be difficult", and soon enough they'll leave you alone and go pick on some soon to be miserable family with a son who asks too many questions in class and whom the school has decided should be medicated into silence. Assuming, of course, that that family does not in turn fight back.

funtie8
02-11-2007, 06:25 AM
Tarrant County CPS has historically been less strict than Dallas Co. That is the same county where a 3 year old was found wondering around and CPS sent him back home to work with a caseworker in the home. In Dallas that would have never happened. The entire TX state system needs an overhaul that goes for CPS and TDCJ! At the same time it depends on the caseworkers and CPS is in trouble. If parents leave and hide from the state there is not much anyone can do but pray. CPS dropped the ball but the parents killed him.

PattiD1157
02-11-2007, 10:28 AM
Sounds as if CPS did a "wonderful" job in this case as well....someone tell me why none of the social workers involved in this are at the very least being tried for negligent homicide or the Texas equivalent?

Sounds like here. There is a trial going to start in May. Situation where the father took the little boy to the hospital and of course social services didn't do squat....1 day before the little boy died, the father was trying to get help. They are trying the boyfriend but everyone that knows of the people involved feel the mom had something to do with it since her daughter went through similar abuse was put in foster care and returned to the mom. Fortunately the daughter is alive. The little boy was just about 2 years old. I feel that social services needs to look deeper into cases. For crying out loud, they knew the boy was abused why not have all authorities looking for him rather than have the "oh well they are gone and it's not our problem anymore" attitude.

DaveMoff
11-25-2012, 06:16 PM
This is an old thread, but there have been some recent developments which some may find of interest. As I understand it, Lisa Coleman lost at least one appeal at least in part because of the actions of a questionable attorney, who did not see fit to even notify her of the results of the hearing under more than a year after the fact. The case is, to my knowledge, currently at the Federal level before the 5th Circuit.

As I stated above some years ago, I do not believe there is significant doubt about Lisa Coleman's culpability in this matter. But when the child's mother (and very possibly the major perpetrator of the abuse) received a life sentence with the possibility of parole, I cannot accept that Ms. Coleman is on Death Row. Equal punishment for an equal crime at the very least, surely.

I hope to start an online petition and make other efforts on behalf of Lisa Coleman. If anyone is interested in assisting or has resources they are willing to share, I hope they will contact me. We are dealing with at least two issues here: disparate sentencing and now the possibility of incompetent counsel. Those are very real and should be weighed heavily before the state of Texas takes another life.