Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Texas executes woman for starvation of boy, 9

18 September 2014, 15:16

Huntsville - A Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago was executed on Wednesday evening.

Lisa Coleman, aged 38, received a lethal injection about an hour after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her. She was pronounced dead at 18:24, 12 minutes after Texas Department of Criminal officials began administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

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 smiled and nodded to several friends and an aunt who watched through a window, thanking them and expressing her love. She also said she loved the other women on Texas' death row and urged them to "keep their heads up".

Read also: Australian leader warns of planned random attack

"I'm all right," she said. "Tell them I finished strong. ... God is good."

She mouthed an audible kiss, laughed and nodded to her witnesses in the seconds before the lethal drug took effect.

"Love you all," she said just before closing her eyes and taking a couple of short breaths. Then there was no further movement.

Coleman was condemned for the death of Davontae Williams, whose emaciated body was found in July 2004 at the North Texas apartment Coleman shared with his mother, Marcella Williams.

250 distinct injuries

Paramedics who found him dead said they were shocked to learn his age. He weighed 36 pounds, about half that of a normal 9-year-old.

A paediatrician 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.

Coleman's trial attorneys said the boy's death at the apartment in Arlington was an accident. They said he may have had mental health issues that made him difficult to handle and Coleman and Williams didn't know how to deal with him in a positive manner.

Read also: TB Joshua one of Africa’s wealthiest pastors

After a Tarrant County jury in 2006 convicted and sent Coleman to death row, Williams took a plea bargain and accepted a life prison sentence. Now 33, she's not eligible for parole until 2044.

Coleman's lawyer, John Stickels, argued unsuccessfully to the high court that while the child's hands were tied with clothesline at various times, it was "mostly a misguided means of discipline" used by both women.

An aggravated factor of kidnapping, which made the charge against Coleman a capital murder case, was incorrect, making the jury's conviction on that charge also incorrect, Stickels contended.

Jefferson Clendenin, an assistant Texas attorney general, told the justices in his argument against the appeal that Coleman's arguments "had no merit".

As of 1 January, 60 women were on death row in the US, representing about 2% of the total death row population, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre, a Washington-based anti-capital punishment organisation. Coleman's execution leaves seven women on death row in Texas.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Machakos no longer a CORD zone, M...

Machakos is now a Jubilee Party zone and no longer CORD, Governor Alfred Mutua says. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
REVEALED: Why Kalonzo attacked Uh...

There was no holding back for CORD co principal Kalonzo Musyoka as he spoke his mind during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Machakos. But why? Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will step down if I lose in 201...

President Uhuru Kenyatta says that he is ready to step down from office if he loses the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President renews calls for nation...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to instead focus on unity, cohesion and prosperity as the country approaches the campaigns period. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What causes cellulite?

Cellulite usually affects the thighs, buttocks, waist and upper arms.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
IEBC selection panel settles on B...

The panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit new IEBC commissioners has picked Bernadette Musundi as its chairperson. Read more...