Mar'Nijah Lamar Williams

A civil lawsuit filed Dec. 5 in Galveston County’s 405th District Court seeks damages in the death of 6-year-old Mar’Nijah Lamar Williams of Texas City on behalf of his mother, Mikisha Alcorn of Houston. Williams was also reffered to as Mar’Nijah Lamar Brown, according to the court filing.

Galveston attorney Timothy Beeton filed the lawsuit against David Jerome Brown II, the man accused of causing injury to his son, Williams, by striking him in the face with an unknown object.

Brown was indicted by a Galveston County grand jury in late 2017 after being charged in March 2017 with injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury, a third-degree felony, following an investigation into the Dec. 5, 2016 death of Williams.

Texas City police and emergency medical technicians were called to the home of Brown and Tierra Phillips, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, after a witness reported hearing spanking and screaming coming from a bedroom in the house on the evening of Dec. 5.

They found Williams unresponsive and transported him to nearby Mainland Medical Center, where he was declared dead, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Brown of “either negligently, intentionally or knowingly” causing bodily injury to Williams by striking him or “allowing injuries suffered earlier in the day to go untreated.”

Officers at the scene described bruising on Williams’ chest and under his eyes and blood on his face, injuries investigators said would have caused him pain and injury before his death, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accused Phillips of liability for “unreasonably dangerous activity that she knew was occurring on the premises and for her failure to exercise reasonable, ordinary care of prudence to prevent the injury” to Williams.

Alcorn is seeking monetary damages of more than $1 million, according to the nine-page lawsuit. Under Texas’ Wrongful Death Act and Texas Survival Statutes, she seeks damages for Williams’ injuries and death as his “next friend,” and for her own injuries and damages resulting from his death, according to the lawsuit.

Brown was at the scene when Texas City police arrived in 2016 and told officers Williams had been in a fight at school and that he’d counseled his son when he got home but had not disciplined him, according to a police affidavit.

Brown said he told a relative to go get Williams so he could do chores and that he found the boy unresponsive with blood on his face, according to the affidavit. During a follow-up interview with police, Brown said he attempted life-saving techniques on Williams but was unsuccessful, according to the affidavit.

Officers visited Lobit Elementary School where Williams was a first-grader and spoke to teachers, the affidavit said. One teacher told officers she had not seen any fight but a student told her Williams had hit him in the stomach. Both teachers said the boy appeared in good health when they last saw him.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the cause of death undetermined, but an investigator with the office said the bruising and abrasions on Williams’ face were not consistent with life-saving techniques, according to the affidavit.

The criminal case against Brown is scheduled for trial on Jan. 14, according to the lawsuit.

Alcorn, through attorney Beeton, has asked for a jury trial in the civil case against Brown and Phillips.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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