A man was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of homicide by child abuse in the death of his son who was found in a cement-filled trash can.
Roger Williams was found guilty on Thursday of homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child for the 2010 death of his son, Rodricus Williams.
During the sentencing hearing, a relative of Rodricus' thanked the judge and said "Rodricus got his day." Rodricus' mother, Shaneka Washington, attempted to make a statement but was visibly shaken.
Williams then spoke and apologized to Washington. The judge told Williams for what he did, "indifference was putting it mildly."
Shortly after the verdict was read, Williams' attorney asked for a new trial stating that the 33 minutes that jury deliberated was too short. The judge denied the motion for a new trial.
Before the verdict was given, the judge told the jury that they could consider three different charges for Williams which included homicide by child abuse, aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child.
Evidence presented throughout the week included video shown to jurors of Williams buying cement and a trash can from a local hardware store.
On Wednesday, a recorded phone call between Williams and his ex-girlfriend's sister, Ramona Smith, was played for jurors Wednesday morning. On the recorded conversation, Williams admitted that he hit Rodricus so hard that the boy's chest was bruised.
Williams then admits in the call that he was scared when he found his son unresponsive and tried to give his son CPR.
In another recorded interview played to jurors, Williams recounts to a Berkeley County Sheriff's detective what happened just before and after the day Rodricus died.
Williams says he rushed home from work after hearing his son was unresponsive. He said the boy seemed "out of life."
Then he and then girlfriend, Grace Trotman, chose not to call an ambulance, according to authorities. In the recording, Williams admitted to dumping his son's body in a cement filled trash can and taking it to the woods near Vance, SC.
"I got scared. I looked at Grace, the first thing I said, 'We're two good people, I don't believe this is happening to us,'" Williams said in the recording. "There's no way. I look at her and say 'What do you want to do? What do you want to do now?'"
One thing that Williams did not admit to in the recording is abusing the child. Authorities say Williams told the detective that Rodricus had fallen down the stairs the week before and that he had been playing rough with his older sister which he said may have caused the boy's head injuries.
On Tuesday, Trotman took the stand and testified that she witnessed the Williams physically and emotionally abuse his son.
Trotman said she saw Williams abuse his son when she was living in Williams' home. Trotman said she observed Williams hit his son numerous times with closed fists.
Trotman also testified that after Rodricus suffered a seizure, Roger Williams would not let her call an ambulance. Trotman said Rodricus' seizure happened after she hit the 2-year-old on his arm which caused his head to hit a wall.
She testified Williams got a trash can, filled it with cement and water, and dropped Rodricus in head-first. Trotman said they used a rental truck to transport the trash can to an abandoned mobile home near Bowman in Orangeburg County, where they left it.
Trotman said Williams then told her to tell police Rodricus fell into the water on The Battery in downtown Charleston.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:22 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:22:29 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
A capital murder case defendant, known for his abrasive outbursts and odd behavior in court, entered court Friday morning with a limp. James Hutto told Judge Bill Gowan that he needed to be excused for the day because the shackles on his legs had been irritating his skin. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:56 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:56:47 GMT
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more th an $5,000 betweenMore >>
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer, is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more than $5,000 between December 2009 and September 2010.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:33 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:33:13 GMT
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick. Crump's attorney Warren Martin says Patrick yelled racial slurs when walking out of the store.More >>
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick has sparked after both parties claim they were the victim in a fight at an Edwards gas station. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:44:25 GMT
TAMPA, FL (WTSP/CNN) – Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction. Police found 66-year-old James Hopkins living on the property that belonged to someone else. TheyMore >>
Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
A New Jersey company that operates 13 TGI Fridays restaurants accused of secretly replacing premium liquor with low-quality booze says it's shocked at the allegations.More >>
At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water - and apparently not even clean water at that.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201