Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

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Normal Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:33 pm

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By TERRI LANGFORD
Houston Chronicle
Nov. 4, 2009, 9:52PM
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Lucas Coe, the 27-year-old Magnolia man accused of injury to a child in the death of 4-year-old Emma Thompson, now faces a new charge: that he also raped the young girl before her death in June.

Coe and Emma's mother, registered nurse Abigail Young, were arrested and charged with serious bodily injury to a child after the girl's June 27 death. At the time, Emma had a skull fracture, vaginal tearing and more than 80 bruises covering her body. She died two weeks after Texas Child Protective Services discovered the girl had tested positive for genital herpes.

On Oct. 29, Harris County grand jurors returned an indictment against Coe, accusing him of Emma's sexual assault. If convicted, he would face a minimum of 25 years in prison because the victim was under the age of 6.

The indictment comes about a month after the Harris County District Attorney's Office secured a sample of Coe's blood. It is not known if DNA from the blood ties Coe to the girl or whether prosecutors are using other evidence to support the indictment.

Emma was one of 91 children who died of abuse in Texas this year whose families had been previously investigated by CPS, according to a Houston Chronicle review. Roughly half of those children also were living with families known to CPS as having potential problems.

Coe's attorney says there is no evidence that connects his client to the sexual assault.

“I saw nothing in the file that would indicate how he could have perpetuated the crime he was indicted for,” said Bert Steinmann, Coe's attorney. “I am clueless as to how they are connecting him with committing the sexual assault.”

Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors, declined to comment on the case.

Young, Coe's girlfriend, also has genital herpes, according to the 33-year-old's attorney, Colin Amann.

“She does not know where she got it,” he said. “She may have gotten it from Emma.”

Neither Amann nor Coe's attorney would say whether Coe also has genital herpes, though Steinmann said “medical records from previous doctors” don't indicate that he does.

Coe is in the Harris County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail. No trial date in this case has been set.

Steinmann has asked that state District Judge Mary Lou Keel remove herself from the trial because the defense team believes there is a perception of bias in the case. A hearing on that motion is tentatively set for Nov. 12.

On Wednesday, state District Judge Suzanne Stovall in Montgomery County set a Feb. 1 trial date for Coe in an unrelated 2007 case involving a child related to a previous relationship.

In that matter, Coe is charged with injuring another child.

Young, free on $50,000 bail, has said that before she left her three girls with Coe so she could go shopping at a supermarket, Emma was fine. Young said when she returned, Coe met her at the door with Emma in his arms. He said that Emma was sick, Young said.

She has said she took the girl, put her in the car and began driving to the hospital. When Emma became unresponsive, Young said she called 911 and an ambulance met her car, down the street from her house.

As soon as Young and Emma left for the hospital, Coe took Young's other two children and his daughter to the next-door neighbor, where he left them and then left the family's Spring home.

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Normal Aug 11, 2009

Post by Nama on Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:14 am

A former Brenham resident charged with the death of her four-year-old, is free after posting a $50,000 bond in Harris County.

Abigail Young was arraigned in a Harris County courtroom Tuesday morning along with her boyfriend, 27-year-old Lucas Coe who remains in jail.

The pair faces felony injury to a child charges and if convicted, both could serve life prison sentences.

Friends and family will hold a candlelight vigil in Emma’s memory, Thursday night at 7:00 at the Church at Creek’s End, at 20010
Kuykendall in Spring. The public is invited.

Authorities say the Brenham's nurse inaction contributed to her 4-year-old daughter's death. Abigail Young and her boyfriend Lucas Coe have
been charged in connection witih the child's death.

Young, 33, is charged with injury to a child for failing to get medical attention for her daughter, Emma Thompson. The child died June 27 at a hospital in The Woodlands.

Harris County investigators arrested Young around 5:45 p.m. Monday at Trinity Medical Center in Brenham. Investigators say Young lived in northeast Houston with her daughter and was recently hired as a registered nurse at Trinity Medical Center. When authorities tried to arrest Coe, 27, they say he attempted to flee on foot, but was eventually captured at a relative's home in Magnolia.

A medical examiner's report stated Emma had been beaten and sexually abused. An autopsy ruled the death as a homicide and the cause of death as blunt abdominal trauma.

"It hits close to home cause it could be someone you might know and had no idea they were like that at their home," said Brenham resident Laura Corley. "They lived a certain way at work and then a certain way at home. It's just really sad."

Trinity Medical Center CEO John Simms said when Young was hired, a background check revealed no charges filed against her. He also said Young had access to children at the hospital, but it was supervised.

"Ms. Young was employed based on her qualifications as a registered nurse and she was completing her orientation and actually worked one shift prior to her arrest," Simms said.

That doesn't erase the discomfort one Brenham parent said she now feels because there is no sure way of knowing who has access to her children.

"It really does make you wonder who is working with your kids these days in schools in hospitals obviously...it does get to you," said Brenham resident Mary Daniel.

Harris County Sheriff's detectives say there are open investigations into every child Young and Coe have come in contact with including Coe's own 4-year-old daughter. Coe has also been investigated by CPS three times in unrelated cases involving a former girlfriend's child. He has a criminal history that includes assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief charges. Both Young and Coe face up to life in prison if convicted of felony injury to a child.

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Nama on Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:16 am

Sep 16, 2009
A man charged in the death of a 4-year-old Spring girl went back to jail Tuesday.

Lucas Coe and his girlfriend, Abbey Young, were arrested last month, accused of causing the injuries that killed Young’s daughter, Emma Thompson.


Coe posted bond last week, but he was brought back before a judge on Monday after he failed to take a urine test.

Coe’s lawyers said he has a medical condition that prevented him from taking that type of test.

The judge revoked his bond.

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Normal December 21, 2009

Post by Nama on Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 am

A new judge will be appointed to hear the case of two people accused in the death of a 4-year-old girl.

An administrative judge has granted the request of an attorney representing one of the defendants that a new trial judge be appointed.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Regional Administrative Judge Olen Underwood granted a motion by defense attorney Bert Steinmann to recuse Judge Mary Lou Keel of the 232nd District Court after reviewing a series of events involving a bond — then the revoking of that bond — for defendant Lucas Coe.

Coe, and his girlfriend Abigail Young, 34, have been charged in the death of Young’s 4-year-old daughter, Emma Thompson, last June 27. Young is a Brenham native.

Authorities said Thompson had signs of sexual abuse, 80 bruises, genital herpes and a skull fracture.

Steinmann raised questions about Keel’s ability to be fair in the high-profile case.

According to The Chronicle, on Sept. 10, Keel approved a $100,000 bond for Coe. Two days later, Coe posted the bond and was released.

The next day, a Sunday, Keel’s court coordinator contacted prosecutors and Steinmann, asking them to be in court on Monday at 8 a.m. because Keel wanted to place some additional conditions on the bond.

The Sunday call came following a flood of faxes and e-mails to the judge’s office by those who disagreed with her ruling to allow Coe’s tentative release.

Keel ordered that Coe submit to a urine drug test and when he said he couldn’t urinate on demand for testers, she had his bond revoked.

Underwood reviewed the series of events and granted the recusal request from Steinmann.

“What he said was recusable was the irregular procedures she followed when she notified the parties on a Sunday of an 8 a.m. Monday hearing,” Steinmann said. “Judge Underwood recused Judge Keel to avoid any appearance of partiality and unfairness.”

Steinmann said his client is innocent of Emma’s assault and death.

Donna Hawkins, spokeswoman for Harris County District Attorney’s office confirmed Underwood’s actions and said both Coe and Young will be tried by another judge.

Coe, 28, is charged with Thompson’s sexual assault and injury to a child. Young is charged with injury to a child.

Underwood has yet to appoint a new judge in the case. No trial dates have been scheduled and it is not known whether the couple will be tried together or separately.

Coe, 28, faces trial on Feb. 2 in Montgomery County on an unrelated case of injury to a child involving the son of a former girlfriend.

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Nama on Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:37 am

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:17 am

This has got to be one of the most sadistic, horrific crimes I have ever read.

And, to top it off, her "mother" is a nurse?

I am stymied that Coe was let out of jail. What the hell is going on with our judicial system? Is this not the worse case of outright, blatant child abuse you've ever hear of? Seriously. Just shoot them both. Save the Texas taxpayers the money! :mad:

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by cherylz on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:14 am

Young, Coe's girlfriend, also has genital herpes, according to the 33-year-old's attorney, Colin Amann.

“She does not know where she got it,” he said. “She may have gotten it from Emma.”

What the heck, and where did Emma get it from? So insane, how would the mother get it from her daughter. The daughter get it from being sexually abused by the boyfriend.
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by adelacruz on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:11 am

like i've said before, this case hits me hard... i cannot belive they let him out on bond, but i'm happy that he is back in jail!
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Normal Grand jury re-indicts Coe, adds charge

Post by Nama on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:33 pm

A Montgomery County grand jury has added another felony indictment against a man accused in the beating death of a 4-year-old girl.

Lucas Coe, 28, now faces a charge of serious bodily injury to a child, stemming from a 2007 incident in which he is accused of hitting a boy on his head. He was re-indicted last week by a grand jury.

The re-indictment was sought “based on the re-evaluation and realization that there were additional counts we could add,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant told The Conroe Courier newspaper. “We wanted to file on him on every charge we possibly could.”

Coe has also been charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony, in the death of 4-year-old Emma Thompson last June in Harris County

Authorities said Thompson had a fractured skull, bruising over her body, signs of sexual abuse and genital herpes.

Thompson is the daughter of Abigail Young, who has also been charged with bodily injury to a child.

Woodlands attorney Bert Steinmann, who is representing Coe in both his Montgomery County and Harris County cases, said his client is innocent.

“We’ll vigorously defend our client,” he told The Courier. “We believe the evidence will show he is innocent.”

Young’s attorney has also maintained her innocence.

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:37 am

HOUSTON -- A 34-year-old suburban Houston woman has gone on trial for failing last year to prevent the death of her preschooler who was suffering from a severed pancreas and fractured skull and had been diagnosed with genital herpes.

Child Protective Services revamped its investigation of the case to include sexual abuse after 4-year-old Emma Thompson died June 27, 2009. Jury selection in the trial began Monday.

The child’s mother, Abigail Young, of Spring, faces up to life in prison if convicted of injury to a child by omission.

Young’s boyfriend at the time, 28-year-old Lucas Coe, is set for trial in September on charges of aggravated sexual assault.

http://www.khou.com/news/crime/Testimomy-begins-in-trial-of-4-year-old-Emma-Thompsons-mother---97427184.html
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:23 pm



Last edited by Wrapitup on Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Amanda posted this topic and is related to Emma. Thanks for the pic, LM!!)
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Normal Mom's trial revisiting tragedy of Emma

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:27 pm

Hello My Name is Amanda Mathews and Emma Catherine Grace Thompson was my niece. I am happy to see the wheels of justice are finally turning for my beautiful little angel. Hopefully through the awareness of Emma's death another child will be saved. Because of Emma Texas Child Protective Services have changed their procedures dealing with children which test positive for a STD. I have to believe that her angels are hard at work so they do not suffer like she did.

Rest peacefully my beautiful Emma Justice is on its way! Aunt Am loves you "BIG MUCH"

By TERRI LANGFORD
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
June 28, 2010, 6:08AM

Emma Thompson, 4, was found to have 80 bruises, a severed pancreas and a fractured skull.

A year after a suburban 4-year-old's gruesome death helped force a state review of child abuse investigations in Houston, there's little else to show that Emma Thompson passed through this world. She's buried next to a grandfather she never met and no formal headstone is placed on her tiny grave, which features a humble funeral home marker and half-dead petunias.
That changes today as prosecutors begin jury selection in the first of two trials to determine how Emma — a sexually abused child found with 80 bruises, a severed pancreas and fractured skull — died on June 27, 2009, and if her mother, registered nurse Abigail Young, 34, failed to prevent the injuries that ultimately killed the preschooler.
"Emma was a precious 4-year-old girl and she deserves justice, and that's what we hope to get," said Colleen Barnett, the Harris County prosecutor trying the case.
Young faces up to life in prison if convicted on the one count of injury to a child by omission. Her boyfriend at the time, Lucas Coe, 28, is scheduled to be tried in September in Emma's aggravated sexual assault.
"From all I have seen she loved Emma as much as any parent could love any child," said Colin Amann, Young's defense attorney. "It's just a violation of the natural order of things when kids precede their parents."
CPS contacted
From the start, there's been nothing textbook about this child's homicide on Haverford Road in Spring.
Three weeks before Emma died, her pediatrician notified Texas Child Protective Services that she had tested positive for genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease. But because there was no sign of sexual intercourse and there are rare cases where the disease is transmitted by nonsexual contact, Emma was not removed from her home. Unknown to CPS at the time was the fact that Coe, who was facing an unrelated child abuse charge in another county, was Young's paramour and frequent house guest. The agency has since said had it known that at the time, Emma would have been taken into custody immediately.
But CPS' missed chance with Emma isn't the only unusual aspect of this case.
The sequence of events on the day of Emma's death has prompted questions about whether Young was duped by a boyfriend or was a willing participant in her own daughter's death. Young did not call 911 when her daughter apparently cracked her skull after supposedly falling off a toilet. Instead, Young placed the girl in her car and drove her to the hospital herself. Meanwhile, Coe and his own daughter, who had been at the house that day, left the scene shortly after Young left with Emma for the hospital.
According to testimony at a hearing last year and records released since the death, Young stopped the car shortly after she left when Emma apparently passed out in the backseat. She called 911 from her car, and first responders came to the car. But Emma was already believed to be dead. The girl was taken to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, where she was declared dead.
Then Young returned to her two-story home on Haverford to face a team of police investigators and neighbors huddled near her home.
Explanation to neighbors
Julius Villarreal, who lives across the street, remembers the night well.
Instead of ducking into her two-story home to grieve the loss of her youngest, he said a dry-eyed Young talked to investigators and then addressed the group of neighbors, almost as if she was trying to "set up" the story they would hear later of her daughter's violent injuries.
Villarreal said Young told them in great detail that Emma had fallen off the toilet in the bathroom, cracking her skull and splitting her lip. She also told them how she theorized it was a diabetic seizure. She then talked about how there was a lot of bruising on the girl caused by CPR attempts by emergency responders. Young even told how there was bruising on the little girl's thighs because of the great force she used to pull Emma from the car once she passed out.
Villarreal said he was struck by how everyday Young's demeanor was despite losing a child that night.
"To me, she acted calm, like she had lost $5," Villarreal said.
Young made a great show of telling the group that Coe was good to her and her girls, that he never harmed anyone, Villarreal said. And after investigators left, Young told neighbors they could come over to the house. There was nothing disturbing to see, she told them, because she had cleaned up the bathroom before she left for the hospital.
"'I bleached the bathroom,'" Villarreal recalled Young telling them.
A call for comment, made to Young's mother's home, was not returned.
Nursing license revoked
Young's actions after her daughter's death could have been her way of grieving or perhaps altered by her own physical state, her attorney said.
In the week leading up to Emma's death, Young had been taking prescription drugs, Amann told the Houston Chronicle.
"She (Young) had been sick the week before Emma died," said Amann, who did not provide further details other than to say that his client is innocent of the charge and had nothing to do with Emma's death.
For the past year, Young has been free on bond, living in Brenham - where Emma is buried - and where her mother lives.
Young has a job in a local plant nursery. She has had no contact with her other two girls, who have been placed with her second ex-husband.
terri.langford@chron.com
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:28 pm

welcome2 Amanda. Thank you for the heads up on the trial.
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Welcome, Amanda. I see you found your way to the correct thread. Feel free to post pics or anything you want. We are all here for you and Emma!!! ❤

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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by artgal16 on Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:58 pm

I dont know what to say, except that if both the mother and her boyfriend do not get life sentences
it will be a grave miscarriage of justice.
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:44 pm

In the weeks leading up to a Spring preschooler's violent death, her mother was in the midst of a divorce, had a new outlaw boyfriend in tow and Texas Child Protective Services knocking at her door, opening statements revealed today.

There had been glaring warnings that Abigail Young's 4-year-old daughter, Emma Thompson, had been abused frequently and raped. Tests also proved the girl had genital herpes, prosecutors said during today's opening statements that began Young's trial on charges of failing to protect her child from harm.

Despite those signs, Young, a registered nurse, lied about her illicit paramour's existence to doctors, CPS, and even told her soon-to-be ex-husband to do the same because it might cause them both problems, prosecutors said.

"She was smitten by him,” assistant Harris County prosecutor Tina Ansari said of Young's blind devotion to 28-year-old Lucas Coe. She quickly would do anything and everything for him, prosecutors said.

Coe, who will be tried later this year for Emma's rape, was fresh off of probation for aggravated assault but facing a pending and unrelated child abuse charge in another county, Ansari said, when he and Young began dating in early 2009. At that point Young was still married to her second husband and father of her two youngest children.

But when Emma began exhibiting physical problems and an alert pediatrician reported to CPS that the girl had tested positive for genital herpes, Young began a denial campaign, telling CPS, Emma's doctors and even her own employer that there was no man in her life and that Emma contracted the sexually transmitted disease in a non-sexually manner.

Defense attorney Julie Ketterman, in her opening statement today, painted her client as a caretaker, a vocation thrust on her as the result of her father dying just before her 16th birthday. She became a labor and delivery nurse because of her own miscarraiges.

"Who Abbey is will explain what Abbey did and didn't do," Ketterman said. "That was her role — a caretaker."

Young, as she was divorcing, was busy working two jobs to make ends meet when her romance with Coe, a longtime friend, began in earnest, Ketterman said. All the while, Young was seeking answers as to why her daughter bruised so often, even having her tested for leukemia because of the concern and consulting infectious disease doctors about how her daughter contracted herpes.

"This was not something she was trying to hide," Ketterman said of Emma's illness.

Following opening statements, Dr. Patricia Moore, the medical examiner for Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Conroe, testified how she performed Emma's autopsy, taking about 200 photos of body and internal injuries.

"They are not pleasant," Dr. Moore said of the photos.

At the defense table, Young began dabbing at her eyes with tissue as prosecutor Colleen Barnett introduced dozens of autopsy photographs into evidence, prompting a defense attorney challenge over whether the photos were duplicative and therefore, redundant.

After several minutes, the judge finally approved a smaller set of photos for courtroom showing, and as Barnett placed the first on an overhead projector, the image of Emma's face - – closed eyes, bruises on her forehead and chin - sent Young into violent sobs.

It was the first sign of emotion for Young who has sat stoically in the courtroom Monday during selection of her jury of nine women and three men. The trial is expected to take two weeks and if convicted, Young faces life in prison.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7086302.html
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Normal MOTHER OF 4 YEAR OLD EMMA THOMPSON FOUND GUILTY

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:52 am

MOTHER OF 4 YEAR OLD EMMA THOMPSON FOUND GUILTY
Filed Tue, Jul 13, 2010 by Scott EngleLocal / Area News

The mother of 4-year-old Emma Thompson, the Spring girl who died last year after suffering a severed pancreas and fractured skull, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child by omission by a Houston jury Monday.

Abigail Young could face two to 20 years in prison for the crime. The sentencing phase will begin Tuesday. Jurors rejected a more serious charge of injury to a child by omission, which could have sent her to prison for life.

Emma died at a Woodlands hospital on June 27, 2009. An autopsy showed she had “80 contusions, a severe head laceration, scalp hemorrhaging, a skull fracture, internal bleeding and a severe tear and hemorrhaging to the vagina.”

The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to the abdominal area, which caused several internal injuries.

Investigators also said the girl had genital herpes when she died. Young’s former boyfriend, Lucas Coe, is accused of raping Emma.

Initially, Young told investigators Emma hurt herself when she fell out of bed.
CPS began investigating the family in early June of 2009 after Emma’s dad called, saying she was covered in bruises. Her pediatrician had also contacted CPS, because he suspected blisters in her mouth and genital area were caused by genital herpes.
But an exam at Texas Children’s Hospital found no evidence of sexual abuse, and CPS did not remove her from the home.
Weeks later, she was dead.


Because of Emma’s case, CPS decided to use more aggressive procedures when investigating allegations of abuse in children with sexually transmitted diseases.
Emma’s two sisters were placed with grandparents after her death.


Coe, who faces trial in September in Harris County on charges of aggravated sexual assault and injury to a child, had been investigated by CPS prior to Emma’s case.
CPS investigated him three times in unrelated cases involving another girlfriend’s child.


Coe was reindicted on January 12, 2010 on a January 13, 2005 charge of first degree felony Serious Bodily Injury to a Child. The victim in the Montgomery County case is a seven-year old boy.

Emma’s injuries case will be prosecuted in Harris County where the abuse occurred, and not in Montgomery County, where she died.

Coe was not Thompson’s father, but shared a residence in Spring with Emma and her mother, Young, a registered nurse who worked in labor and delivery.

His criminal history includes charges of assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.
If convicted, he could get life in prison.

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Normal Trial Begins For Accused Child Rapist Lucas Coe

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:58 am

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Sept. 13, 2010, 6:28AM

For eight years, accused child rapist Lucas Coe fended off a bevy of criminal charges that until today had little chance of keeping him behind bars.
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There was a 2002 aggravated assault in Harris County, a DWI conviction that left him without a driver's license, a Montgomery County assault charge, the two times he was jailed for probation violations and in 2007, a Montgomery County child abuse charge that even now has yet to go to trial.

Today, though, he is on trial — this time charged with sexually assaulting 4-year-old Emma Thompson who died in June 2009, the result of multiple unexplained injuries. Coe, 28, is not charged in her death.

Emma's mother, former registered nurse Abigail Young, already is in prison. A jury in July convicted her of "reckless" injury to a child. Young, who according to court testimony, left Emma's father for her handyman paramour Coe, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and is eligible for parole in five years.

Emma was declared dead at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital the night of June 27, 2009. Her body was badly bruised, her skull fractured and her vagina bore a large tear, indicating sexual assault.

That night, Young came home to find her daughter, who had been left with Coe, nearly unconscious. She carried Emma from the house to the car to take her to the hospital, claiming then and in testimony later that she believed her daughter to be the victim of a fall in the bathroom.

But instead of waiting with Emma's two older sisters for word from the hospital, witnesses say Coe ran to a neighbor, asking her to watch the girls. He also asked the neighbor to take him and his own young daughter to a nearby Jack-in-the-Box where his sister, who lived 20 miles away, was going to pick them up.

Coe's trial will focus at least in part on his actions in the hours before and immediately after Emma's death.

That's because Coe wasn't supposed to be with his daughter - or any child for that matter. An abuse allegation involving another girlfriend's child had prompted Texas Child Protective Services to bar him from unsupervised visits with his daughter.

Witnesses testifying in Young's court proceedings claimed Coe was worried that authorities might find out his daughter was with him.

It is unclear how prosectors will introduce his rapid exit from the scene without making mention of his earlier problems with CPS, which according to pretrial rulings, is not to be discussed during the trial.

The state's case also will focus on Emma's vaginal tear and the fact that Young, Coe and Emma had genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Barnett said that based on the evidence, prosecutors decided a charge of super-aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 6 was the best case to pursue against Coe. If jurors convict him, she added, there's no parole.

"So whatever he gets, he serves," she said.

But that's if he is convicted.

Coe's defense attorney William Van Buren insists there was no sexual assault of Emma. The vaginal tear, Van Buren says, could have been caused by anything.

"The bottom line is ... there is no direct evidence," Van Buren said, adding that Coe's DNA was not found on the little girl. "There could be other ways for vaginal tears to occur, other possibilities."

He also points to the fact that nine days before Emma died, CPS workers asked Young to take the girl to Texas Children's Hospital after they learned she had tested positive for genital herpes. Doctors there found no signs of sexual abuse.

In rare cases, genital herpes can be spread in a non-sexual manner. Because of that and the fact Young said there was no man in her house who would have had access to Emma, CPS closed the case.

"We'll let the evidence speak for itself," said prosecutor Barnett.

Van Buren asserts that Coe could have left quickly after Emma was taken to the hospital for a number of reasons - none having to do with sexual assault.

'Emotion and not facts'
Coe's attorneys will try to keep hundreds of Emma's autopsy photos from being seen by the jurors.

Defense attorney Rick DeToto said prosecutors hope to convince jurors of Coe's guilt with hundreds of autopsy photos that have nothing to do with Emma's sexual assault.

"I think they're trying to overwhelm a potential juror with emotion and not facts," he said. "There's no DNA on Emma. It's a situation where they're saying something bad happens and he was there."

Barnett is confident she can prove Coe is guilty.

"Yes, I believe he's guilty and yes, I believe I can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," she said.

Jury selection is scheduled to start today.


Look at this sweet little face... JUSTICE FOR EMMA!!!
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by charminglane on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:26 pm

My God, what a little angel.
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Normal Man guilty of raping 4-year-old who later died

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:41 am

A Houston jury this afternoon found Lucas Coe, 28, guilty of raping his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter shortly before her June 2009 death.

Jurors in visiting state District Judge Doug Shaver’s court deliberated Coe’s fate for three and a half hours before convicting him of super aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Prosecutors argued the former handyman spent weeks babysitting his girlfriend’s children, then raped the pre-schooler as other children swam in a backyard pool.

“He’s not going to go right in there and rape her,” Assistant Harris County District Attorney Colleen Barnett said in closing arguments. “He’s going to groom her.”

In a whisper to jurors, Barnett said Coe worked to lure the child, then cleaned up the crime scene.

“That little girl probably bled everywhere,” Barnett said.

Coe stood silently as the verdict was read. After hearing the decision, Coe sat and shook his head at his family members, who sobbed.

Coe’s lawyers had argued that the girl suffered vaginal trauma from of a straddle fall.

Coe’s attorney, Rick DeToto, pointed to testimony that Emma Thompson’s vaginal area had abrasions consistent with a fall.

Coe faces a maximum punishment of life in prison as jurors begin the punishment phase of the trial Wednesday. Because of the heightened charge, Coe will serve every day of whatever sentence the jury hands down.

Prosecutors said Emma died from abdominal trauma, including a severed pancreas, at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital on June 27, 2009.

In the weeks before the girl’s death, Coe was dating her mother, Abigail Young, a former registered nurse. Young was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison for failing to protect her child.

The girl died with more than 70 bruises on her body and a vaginal tear.

“She was dying a slow, painful death due to blunt force trauma to her abdomen,” Barnett said.

She noted that the girl and her mother were diagnosed with genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease, weeks before the death.

DeToto had argued that the disease could have been transmitted by casual contact with Coe or Young.

The doctor who discovered the child had genital herpes a month before she died notified Texas Child Protective Services.

Prosecutors said Young lied to investigators about whether Coe had been living with her and babysitting the girl.

Coe was not charged in Emma’s death. Barnett told jurors Coe was prosecuted for the super aggravated charge rather than murder because it carries a potentially stricter punishment.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7210907.html
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Normal Emma's dad to Coe: 'You're a monster'

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:44 am

The father of a 4-year-old who died after being raped 15 months ago confronted the girl's attacker in court Thursday after a jury sentenced the man to life in prison without parole and a $10,000 fine.

"You are not a man. You're a bogeyman. You're a monster," Ben Thompson said in a victim impact statement. "You're going to pay a long and horrible price for what you did to my daughter."

He said his daughter, Emma Thompson, was beaten so badly the family considered a closed-casket funeral.

Lucas Coe, 28, was convicted this week of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. His attorneys said they would appeal the conviction and the sentence.

Emma Thompson died June 27, 2009 from abdominal trauma. She arrived at the hospital with more than 70 bruises, a bloodied lip and a fractured skull. She also had a sexually transmitted disease.

Ben Thompson, his sister and his parents told Coe they hoped he would be forgotten in prison while the girl's life would be fondly remembered.

"Her life was precious, had great value and great potential. Her capacity to love was immeasurable," the child's grandmother, Laurie Thompson, said. Her voice caught as she spoke about her granddaughter being raped. "Imagine Emma's terror at Lucas Coe looming over her, leering at her, hurting her, eventually killing her."

In measured language, she described a focused, bright-eyed child, then painted horrific pictures of the her last weeks.

"His repeated attacks on every part of her body resulted in her death," she said. "She was stripped of every shred of innocence and happiness by the defendant."

Laurie Thompson also taunted Coe, who, she said, arrogantly winked at the girl's father Wednesday.

"I suspect there will be a lot of winking where you are going," she said.

Several jurors wiped tears from their eyes as they listened to Emma's family after handing down the verdict. They declined comment as they left the courthouse.

In this case, 'life is life'
Dawn Nobles, a spokeswoman for Coe and his family, said they were trying to stay optimistic about the appeal Coe's attorneys filed minutes after the verdict was handed down.

Coe's family hugged each other around the shoulders as the Thompson family members spoke. They did not comment afterward.

Unlike a life sentence for murder, which generally is capped at 60 years with eligibility for parole at 30 years, the maximum for super aggravated sexual assault of a child is actual life. Prosecutors opted to try Coe on that charge rather than murder in hopes of getting a stricter sentence.

"Life is life," Prosecutor Colleen Barnett said. "Even if he lives to be 150."

After Emma's death, it was revealed that Texas Children's Protective Services had been told the girl had genital herpes two weeks before she died.

Emma's mother, Abigail Young, started dating Coe about six months before the girl's death. Because Young and Coe had genital herpes, defense lawyers said the girl could have contracted the disease from casual contact with either of them.

Authorities did not remove the child from the home because her mother lied to investigators about Coe's presence in the home, prosecutors said.

Young was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison for failing to protect her child.

'The hardest trial'
Defense attorneys William Van Buren and Rick DeToto said they were disappointed with the jury's decision. They had asked the jury for the minimum, 25 years.

Both fathers of young girls, they said they also were affected by the emotionally charged trial.

"This has been the hardest trial I've ever had," Van Buren said. "It may have been the hardest case I will ever try."

The jury heard testimony during the one-and-a-half-week trial from several doctors about the girl's injuries and saw graphic photos of the child's autopsy.

Both sides said the most powerful testimony was from the 10-year-old son of one of Coe's former girlfriends.

The boy said Wednesday that Coe repeatedly sneaked into his room at night to beat and choke him in 2006.

He said Coe told him he would kill his mother if he told anyone what was happening.

"What happened to Chase is eerily similar to what happened to Emma," Barnett said. "There was vomiting, unexplained bruises, dizziness and falling down."

Coe faces assault charges in Montgomery County in connection with the boy's allegations.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/facebook/7214196.html
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Normal Rape of little girl carried a stiffer term than a murder verdict

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:45 am

Coe's life sentence justifies prosecution's choice
Prosecutors who opted to charge Lucas Coe with raping 4-year-old Emma Thompson rather than murdering her were vindicated Thursday when jurors sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The 2007 law that created the charge of super aggravated sexual assault means Coe will be behind bars longer than he would have been for causing her death, which prosecutors also blamed on him.

The preschooler died June 27, 2009, after being taken to the hospital with more than 70 bruises, a busted lip and a fractured skull. She also had genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

Assistant Harris County District Attorney Colleen Barnett said Emma was a victim of sexual assault but died from the abdominal trauma of being beaten.

After Coe was arrested, Barnett and other prosecutors considered charging him with several crimes, including murder.

Typically, a first-degree felony sentence of 99 years or life, whether for rape or murder, means defendants are eligible for parole after 30 years. Under that scenario, the 28-year-old Coe could have been eligible for parole at 58.

Barnett said she also considered capital murder. If convicted, Coe could have faced the death penalty or life without parole, but jurors would have had to be convinced that he intended to cause Emma's death, Barnett said.

"The parole law for this was the same as non-death capital murder," Barnett said. "And it's much easier to prove."

The charge was part of a package of legislation dealing with child sexual assaults, generally known as "Jessica's Law" in memory of Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old girl abducted, sexually assaulted and killed in Florida.

"I wanted to send a loud clear message to any pedophile who would ever think about harming a child here in Texas that they would have the most severe penalty to pay," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball.

The bill also created a charge called "continual sexual abuse of a child or children," which allows prosecutors to seek harsher penalties for suspects accused of committing at least two sexual assaults over a period of 31 days or more.

Prosecutors and legislators say the super aggravated charge, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, is tough on the convicted. Defense lawyers say it may be too tough.

"Its scary to think that's the minimum prison sentence for a conviction that can be based literally on the word of a child who is less than 6 years old," said Paul Darrow, a defense attorney who has a client facing a super aggravated charge. "It tips the scale hugely in favor of (prosecutors)."

Nicole Deborde, president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, said defense lawyers are concerned when any discretion is taken away from jurors, because each case is different.

"I always like to give the jury a choice," Deborde said. "To me that's better than the Legislature making the decision without hearing any of the facts."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/7217205.html
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Normal Re: Abigail Young, mother of Emma Thompson, was found guilty of reckless and serious bodily injury to a child/ Lucas Coe gets life in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:37 pm

This is Texas. He should have gotten the death penalty. May he rot to death in prison!!

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Normal New Parole Rules Sought in Cases Involving Children

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:05 pm

by Maurice Chammah October 29, 2012

When Laurie Thompson read a letter about the parole eligibility of the woman in prison for the death of Thompson’s granddaughter, she thought the review date — two years into a 20-year sentence — was a typo. “We had been reassured that the perpetrators of this crime would have no hope of being released in the near future,” Thompson said.

In 2009, Thompson’s granddaughter, 4-year-old Emma Thompson, was beaten to death after being sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend, Lucas Coe. A jury convicted Emma’s mother, Abigail Young, of “reckless endangerment of child by omission,” and sentenced her to 20 years. Young became eligible for parole after two years and will be automatically reviewed again every year that she is in prison.

“We really have no relief,” Thompson said. "We have to revisit the details of the crime every time. It seems like we've been given a 20-year sentence."

As a result of Young’s parole eligibility, Thompson and other victims advocates are pursuing legislation that would end automatic yearly parole reviews in cases where the victim is a child.

Emma’s death and the subsequent trial in the case attracted a flurry of news coverage in Houston, and Thompson became the family’s spokeswoman, delivering a victim impact statement to the court.

Thompson, who teaches theology at a Catholic high school in Houston, said that as she met other victims through organizations like Parents of Murdered Children, she saw that other families had to worry every year about parole eligibility, and would have to write letters to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. "We realized that the families of victims are being victimized again and again,” she said. “We have to revisit the details of the crime. It seems like we've been given a 20-year sentence.”

To pursue the legislation, Thompson is joining with Andy Kahan, victim advocate for the city of Houston. Kahan said the goal of their effort is to give the parole board discretion to choose to hold off from reviewing these cases for up to five years. There is already a list of offenses in this category, including several other offenses against children, for which the board can choose to wait up to five years before reviewing a case again. Kahan and Thompson simply want to add all degrees of injury to a child to this list. Under such a change, Young could be denied parole review for up to five years.

“I've had too many parents over the last few months who are stunned, dumbfounded to find out that they'll have to deal with this scenario every single year until [the offenders are] released,” Kahan said. “The family will be going through the parole process like a never-ending groundhog day movie. They’ll never get a chance to heal.”

Thompson says she and Kahan have been contacting legislators to see who would be interested in authoring the bill, which would be called Emma's Law, and she plans to work with lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session.

Brian McGiverin, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said legislation of this kind is "deceptive," and serves as "a backdoor way to keep these guys in prison" even if they have compelling reasons to be given parole. He explained that a more transparent way to go about reforming the parole system would be to simply to limit how often certain offenders would be eligible for parole, as opposed to allowing the board discretion in each case.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has been noted often for its secrecy, though a report released in August suggested that the overall number inmates granted parole has been on the rise over the last 10 years.

The board doesn’t take a position on the parole proposal, said spokesman Harold Battson, though he said that less frequent parole reviews would create less work for the members of the board, which he said is "simply here to serve what the Legislature enacts as law."

Marc Levin, director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, said that longer periods between parole reviews might give inmates like Young more time to show good behavior and improve their chances of getting released earlier. “My theory is if they don't have the time to see that the person hasn't harmed anyone," he said, "they are more likely to tend to the side of not granting parole." BS

Nevertheless, Levin, who has advocated for parole reform in the past, said, “We probably need to look at the issue more broadly,” because it “seems odd” that the board looks at what offense was committed, in this case injury to a child, every time. The offense “doesn’t change over time,” he said, but still serves as a reason for denying parole, and this would seem to be a waste of time for the board.

“You could imagine another system where when they [the board] come in sets a presumptive parole date,” he said, “and subsequent reviews would only look at what progress they've made in prison.”

“If we're going to keep the system we have,” Levin said, “it's fine for the board to have discretion” about how often to review individuals, the same point that Kahan makes. Kahan has said that more discretion gives the board “more tools to utilize in cases that one would easily consider to be some of the most egregious types of offenders.”

Thompson will be working with lawmakers early next year. She said that through her work, she has found an ability to revisit the details of the crime for the purpose of advocacy, but that there are many “dark days” in between. "I'm not sure why I have the ability to speak about this the way that I do,” she said. “The emotion and impact of it is when I get off the phone.”

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