Update, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday: An Arlington woman was executed Wednesday night for the murder of her girlfriend’s young son.
Lisa Ann Coleman was the sixth woman in Texas and the 15th in the U.S. to be executed since the death penalty was reinstated nearly four decades ago.
The Associated Press reports:
Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her. She was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. CDT, 12 minutes after Texas Department of Criminal officials began administering a lethal dose of pentobarbital.
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.
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.
Original post from KERA: An Arlington woman is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the murder of her girlfriend’s young son.
Lisa Ann Coleman would be the sixth woman in Texas and the 15th in the U.S. to be executed since the death penalty was reinstated nearly four decades ago.
Coleman’s attorneys don't dispute the murder. They do argue that if she wasn't a black lesbian, she wouldn't be on death row.
Davontae Williams, who was 9, weighed only 35 pounds. He had at least 250 wounds on his body when paramedics found him in an Arlington apartment 10 years ago.
He officially died of malnutrition with pneumonia.
After a plea deal, his mother, Marcela Williams, accepted a life sentence in prison for her role in the crime.
Her domestic partner, Coleman, will be executed unless the U.S. Supreme Court grants a stay.
It’s a horrible crime, but Coleman doesn’t deserve the death penalty, says John Stickels, Coleman’s appellate attorney.
“If you assume they did everything the state said … Lisa should still not get the death penalty because her crime does not fit the definition of kidnapping, and without kidnapping, it's murder, and if it’s murder, she doesn’t receive the death penalty,” Stickels said.
Stickels’ clemency petition to the state, and to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which included new evidence that he says suggests no kidnapping occurred, were denied. Stickels says his client is guilty of murder, but not of capital murder.
“A poor black lesbian was singled out to receive the death penalty, when the mother of the child was not,” Stickels said. “How is that fair?”
Prosecutors say death by lethal injection is appropriate for Coleman, one of only eight women on death row in Texas, because of the “slow and cruel” process in which Davontae died -- not her sexual orientation.
Steven Conder is chief of post-conviction writs for Tarrant County’s district office.
“She was given the death sentence because of the facts of the crime, and also because of her prior criminal history,” Conder said. “When you’re focused on sexual orientation, you’re basically losing sight of the facts of what she did to this child. This child was basically beaten to death.”