Mobile, Alabama: A 9-year-old girl is the second person to be charged following the death of a 4-year-old boy that had been left in the care of his aunt, Yolanda Denise Coale.
The girl, identified only as the boy's sister, "did willfully torture, willfully abuse and curelly beat" her brother according to a criminal complaint obtained by WPMI.
The documents disclose that on Thursday, February 3, Coale woke to the sound of screaming children and discovered the girl beating her brother with a broomstick.
At about 8:00 am Mobile police were called to the residence for a medical emergency.
Officers arrived and found the child unresponsive. He was later determined to be deceased.
Coale was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and her bail was set at $150,000.
"She was the legal guardian of the child. ... During the course of the investigation, Mobile police found evidence of abuse for this child, and then he was found deceased," Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Louis Walker said during Coale's initial appearance.
Court documents allege that the medical examination of the boy revealed past injuries indicative of long-term abuse.
The allegations came as a surprise to the one of Coale's friends.
"I've never seen her yell at anyone, scream, or lose her temper," the friend, who wished to remain anonymous told WALA. "I'm unaware of any abuse that Ms. Coale could be accused of. I've never seen her be aggressive to anyone. To me, her children, her grandchildren."
Coale was due back in court today for a hearing.
Prosecutors have stated that further charges may be filed in this case as the investigation unfolds.