Alabama woman has accepted plea bargain in death of 4-year-old nephew beaten with broomstick

Published 3:59 pm Monday, December 4, 2023

An Alabama woman has accepted a plea bargain in the 2022 beating death of her 4-year-old nephew.

WKRGin Mobile reports that Yolanda Coale, 55, entered what is termed a best-interest plea, which allows the person to plead guilty while still claiming they are innocent. Coale pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case.

Coale’s nephew, King Lyons, was found unresponsive on Feb. 3, 2022. The 4-year-old child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Coale, who was the child’s caregiver at the time of his death, was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated child abuse. At the time, authorities had also charged the boy’s 9-year-old sister with assault, alleging that she had hit the boy with a broom handle. Those charges have been dismissed.

A grand jury later upgraded Coale’s charge to felony murder after an investigation suggested that she had caused the boy’s death by beating him with a broomstick.

Court records showed the investigators found injuries indicating long-term abuse.

Coale’s sentencing has been set for Feb. 15, 2024. She has been allowed to remain free on bail until then.