Father of Kendrick Lee said he found out about his son’s death on the news

Jonathan Kirklin, 36, said he’s distraught and feels guilt-ridden over what his young son Ja’ Veon Kirklin has endured

The father of one of the young boys who was abandoned and neglected by their mother and her boyfriend, exclusively tells DailyMail.com. ‘I didn’t do my part as a father.’

Jonathan Kirklin, 36, said he’s distraught and feels guilt-ridden over what his ex, Gloria Williams and her boyfriend Brian Coulter did to his son, Ja’ Veon Kirklin and his other brothers.

Kirklin invited the DailyMail.com into his apartment in south Houston where he is attempting to get his life ‘back on track.’

‘I haven’t seen my son for five years,’ said a teary eyed Kirklin, ‘and I mostly have myself to blame.’

Kirklin for the better part of the last decade has been in and out of jail. He’s been convicted of felony domestic violence, DWI, felon in possession of a weapon and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Kirklin admits that he’s been an absent father, for the past several years. Just one month ago he was released from a 3-month stint in the county jail for a DWI.

Kendrick Lee, the 8-year-old boy whose body was found decomposing next to his siblings, is pictured with his siblings in an undated photo

Kendrick Lee, the 8-year-old boy whose body was found decomposing next to his siblings, is pictured with his siblings in an undated photo 

‘I am Ja’ Veon’s father. I want him back. I am ready to step up as a father,’ he said.

Kirklin and Williams were never married, they went to high school together and reconnected several years after they left. By this time Williams had five other kids with three different fathers.

Soon after they reconnected Williams became pregnant Right before she gave birth to Ja’Veon, Kirklin was arrested for domestic violence.

Kirklin said Williams hit him in the mouth and caused him to have a bloody lip, she then called 911 and dropped the phone. They continued to fight all the while their phone call was being recorded. Kirklin said he was later arrested by Houston PD.

He ended up serving two years in jail after a few probation violations for the felony domestic violence conviction.

Williams and her other children were living at Kirklin’s mothers house while he was incarcerated. But soon after, Kirklin’s mother Linda Smith told Williams to move out of her house because she was bringing strange men around when Smith was at work.

Kirklin says when he got out of jail, he couldn’t find Williams or her children.

He then located her on social media and in 2016 Gloria’s boyfriend at the time Darryl Towner brought Ja’ Veon to Kirklin for a visit and that was the last time he saw him.

But Kirklin said he never really followed up with his son after that visit.

Pictured: Jonathan Kirklin (father of Ja'veon) and ex Gloria Williams

Pictured: Jonathan Kirklin (father of Ja’veon) and ex Gloria Williams

He said Williams, ‘put him on the backburner. She didn’t want anyone to know what or who she was doing,’ he also added, ‘I didn’t want to bother her. I’m not the type that keeps bothering someone.’

Then he claimed, ‘she kept changing her number and blocking me on social media.’

Finally admitting to being selfish, ‘I was doing me at the time. I didn’t do my part as a dad. I feel partially guilty for what happened. I should have been there for my son and the other kids. I cared not only for my son but the other ones as well.’

Kirklin said he’s now attempting to straighten out his life. He’s spoken with children protective services (CPS) and is working on getting his son back.

He says he still hasn’t spoken to his son and doesn’t know when he he’s going to be able to see or talk to him.

‘It’s going to be a process, to get my son,’ he said. ‘It’s not going to happen overnight; my son needs me. I need to step up as a man, as a father.

‘CPS told me that they were going to get back with me, I’m just waiting for their call.

‘I really need to prove myself; my previous incarcerations aren’t going to help my situation.’

For the longest time Kirklin says he was selfish, ‘doing his thing in the streets, doing me. I was freelancing in life and selfish.’ He says he’s matured and now looking for work as a warehouse worker or a short-order cook.

Kirklin says when he thinks back on how he’s son and the other kids lived in the filthy conditions and subjected to the abuse and mental anguish, ‘it really hurts me to think how they were treated.’

‘You would never think a woman would allow another man to do that to your own kids, your own creation, but she did.’

He then went on to ask, ‘what women would allow a man to disrespect her children?’

When he found out it was Kendrick who died, Kirklin said it was like a punch in the gut, ‘Kendrick was autistic, he didn’t have a harmful bone in his body. He would smile all day long. He didn’t say much, but he had a way to communicate with you. Everyone who knew him loved him.’

He still can’t wrap his head around Williams’ involvement in the abuse saying, ‘She was a good mother. She must have changed.’ Kirklin does say Williams suffered at time from depression, had anxiety and often changed her mood. ‘Sometimes when she would get overwhelmed, she would just shut down.’

But he says that Williams deserves her punishment, ‘at least 10 years in prison for what she allowed to happen to her children, Gloria has to do some real time. She has to sit in her cell and figure out where her priorities were at.’

As for Brian Coulter, he says at the minimum he deserves is life in prison if not he death penalty.

Kirklin who has spent time incarcerated, says they are both going to have targets on their backs.

Child killers and molesters are the lowest of the low in prison. He has no doubt someone ‘is going to get to Brian. He’s going to be life flighted out of there,’ meaning he’s going to be beaten up so bad that they are going to have to life-flight him to the nearest hospital.

‘People in jail and prison have nothing to do all day except watch TV, there are people in jail who never watched TV before they were incarcerated. So they are going to see these two on TV and when they come walking through the doors everyone is going to know all of their business and it’s not going to be good for them.’

For now, Kirklin says he needs to remain strong, ‘I can’t break now, I’ve got to be strong of my son,’ though admitting, ‘one day I know I’ll break over this.’

‘They both disrespected God’s children, they’ll both end up paying for it one way or another. Everything that happens to them now, they deserve.’ 

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