Fall River woman pleads guilty in death of autistic teen

File -- Jacyln Marie Coleman is seen in court. (WLNE)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) — A Fall River woman pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of second-degree murder and other counts in the death of an autistic teen, David Almond. 

Jacyln Marie Coleman was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years. 

Earlier this month, David’s father, John, also pleaded guilty to the same charges. Coleman and John Almond were dating and living together at the time of David’s death.

Police said that 14-year-old David was found emaciated, bruised and unresponsive at the couple’s Fall River apartment in October 2020. He was taken to the hospital where he died.

Two other children also lived in the apartment, including one of David’s triplet brothers, and a 3-year-old boy who’s Almond and Coleman’s biological child. 

David’s death led to an investigation by the state Office of the Child Advocate, which released a scathing report that cited a “multi-system failure” involving the state child welfare agency, the city’s school system and the courts that led to the teen’s death. 

The Department of Children and Families had removed the children from the home in 2017 but initiated the process to return them in March 2020, according to the report. 

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