Aunt Who Beat 4-year-old to Death With Broom Gets Maximum Sentence

A 55-year-old woman in Alabama will spend decades behind bars for killing her 4-year-old nephew, beating the little boy to death with a broomstick and attempting to pin the crime on his 9-year-old sister.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Brandy Hambright on Thursday ordered Yolanda Denise Coale to serve the maximum sentence of 20 years in a state correctional facility in the horrific slaying of young King Lyons, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

Coale, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the child’s death in December, was scheduled to begin her trial just days before reaching a last-minute plea deal with prosecutors.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, the victim’s sister had initially been charged in the brutal beating alongside her aunt, but prosecutors said they later learned the child had no part in the fatal attack.

During Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors presented evidence showing that King, his sister, and at least one other child had both been subjected to vicious broomstick attacks at the hands of Coale on multiple occasions, Mobile Fox affiliate WALA reported.

Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Coy Morgan reportedly emphasized that other children in the neighborhood provided testimony stating that King and his sister were forced to call Coale “master.”

Imploring the court to give Coale a maximum of 20 years, Morgan told the judge that Coale’s actions were as bad as anything he’d come across in his career.

“It’s the worst case I’ve seen, being on the murder team,” he said, WALA reported.

Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood reportedly told the station that the purpose of the plea deal was to avoid a trial and prevent the victim’s sister from having to go through the trauma of going through the experiences again during in-court testimony.

“This was certainly a horrific situation for those children. And, you know, we have now held Miss Coale accountable for that,” Blackwood said. “A 20-year sentence, this is going to be most of the rest of her life.”

Coale’s defense attorney reportedly argued that his client took responsibility for King’s death because she was his caregiver but continued to claim that his older sister was the one responsible for inflicting the fatal injuries.

“The state finds it remarkable that the defense believes a 9-year-old could have inflicted these wounds,” Morgan said in response.

Given the opportunity to address the court, Coale reportedly said that she had spent countless sleepless nights thinking about what happened to King, adding that there were no words capable of conveying her remorse.

Coale, who had been out on bond as she awaited her sentencing, was taken into custody immediately following the proceeding. She will begin her sentence immediately with credit for time already served.

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