**Trigger Warnings: Child abuse and violence**
Lisa Ann Coleman, a 38-year-old Texas woman who has been on death row for eight years following the 2004 death of her girlfriend’s son, will be executed today. Coleman was found guilty of capital murder in the death of nine-year-old Davontae Williams, who had been beaten and bound, reports the Daily Mail. His cause of death was malnutrition (he weighed 35 pounds at the time of his death).
It was reported to the paramedics on July 26, 2004 that Davontae was having trouble breathing. When they arrived, the child was dressed in nothing but bandages and a diaper — his body, covered in more than 250 scars. He had been dead for several hours.
Coleman’s girlfriend, Marcella Williams, was also charged with capital murder. She is currently serving a life sentence after reaching a plea deal. Since giving birth to Davontae at age 14, Williams had been investigated by Child Protective Services seven times. In 2002, they lost track of the family.
Despite reports that the child was restrained and isolated (Coleman was also charged with kidnapping), four witnesses in the couple’s apartment complex have testified to seeing Davontae around the neighborhood and happy just days before his death.
Coleman’s attorney has argued that her sexual orientation has played a role in the state choosing to seek the death penalty. “What she’s really guilty of is being a Black lesbian,” he said.
A Change.org petition was launched to stop her execution. It garnered a little over one thousand signatures.