06/14/2024

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Prominent Judge Missing From Courtroom After Ruling on Gruesome Case of Boy Murdered by Mom’s Boyfriend

Prominent Judge Missing From Courtroom After Ruling on Gruesome Case of Boy Murdered by Mom’s Boyfriend

A Texas judge has reportedly been absent from the courtroom weeks after she convicted a man of killing his girlfriend’s son in 2020.

Amanda Cain, Administrative Office of the District Courts’ communications director, told KTRK that 178th District Court Judge Kelli Johnson is away for “personal matters.” The news outlet reported that Johnson has been out since May 1 — and Houston police responded to her home on May 4 for a disturbance/crisis intervention call.

In mid-April, Johnson convicted Brian Coulter, 34, of fatally beating his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son, Kendrick Lee. Reports indicated that  Coulter opted for a bench trial, and Johnson found him guilty within 20 minutes.

READ: 3 Brothers Live Alone in Apartment With Little Boy’s Corpse, Trial Starts for Accused Killer

A younger Kendrick with Gloria Williams/Facebook

In that case, Lee’s three siblings lived alone with the boy’s dead body for nearly a year before the oldest sibling called 911.  Two of the children told police that they witnessed Coulter kick and punch Lee until he died before putting a blanket over his body and putting him in a bedroom.

Lee’s body was skeletonized and had bugs crawling on it by the time police found him in October 2021.

“My brother is dead, and he’s been dead for a while,” Lee’s 15-year-old brother explained in the 911 call. “It’s just me and my two other brothers here.”

Lee’s mother, Gloria Williams, is also charged in connection with his death. KTRK reported that Williams, who is not charged with murder, is expected to stand trial in the coming months.

In regards to Johnson, KTRK reported that visiting and retired judges have handled some court matters in her absence. No one has connected her absence to the Lee case. A source who spoke with the news outlet described the judge’s recent behavior as manic.

“She’s a danger to herself and to the community,” they said.

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[Feature Photo: Judge Kelli Johnson/Facebook]