HOUSTON – A man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son appeared in court Thursday.
Brian W. Coulter, 31, has been charged with murder in the death of the child whose skeletal remains were found in an apartment, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. Thursday was the first time he appeared before a judge. Coulter missed his probable cause court appearance Wednesday due to a mental health evaluation.
Coulter signed a legal consequences form and an emergency protection order Thursday. The legal consequences form states he is not allowed to have any direct or indirect contact with any of the three surviving children in the home. Part of his bond conditions state he would be required to wear an ankle monitor, be under house arrest, and cannot have any contact with the co-defendant, his girlfriend, and the child’s mother, Gloria Williams. Williams is charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence.
Coulter’s bond remains at $1 million. One of the chief prosecutors with the district attorney’s office, Andrea Beall, said she believed this was a respectable bond, given the charges. Beall believes it takes community safety into account. She told KPRC 2′s Brittany Jeffers this case has been tough on everyone involved.
“I was one of the chief prosecutors for child fatalities,” Beall said. “This is the only type of case I deal with, and I will say this particular case is such a gross deviation from what we expect human beings to behave like, that it has been very emotional and taxing on the investigators and the DA’s office. The priority should be making sure that all the surviving children get the help they need.”
The cases will now be transferred to a new court because the initial judge recused himself, which means that this will likely affect the hearing for Williams.
Williams was supposed to appear in court Friday morning, but the DA’s office says it will likely be pushed back to next week.
According to court documents read aloud during a probable cause hearing Wednesday, Brian Coulter, the boyfriend of the children’s mother, beat the boy to death in front of his siblings. The boys said Coulter struck the child in the face, feet, buttocks, back, legs and groin and that Coulter continued to kick and hit the boy after he had stopped moving.
Williams and Coulter were taken into custody Tuesday. Williams was charged with injury to a child by omission, injury to a child causing serious bodily harm, and tampering with evidence, namely a human corpse. Coulter was charged with murder.