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S.C. man sentenced to life for abusing 2-year-old son, encasing body in concrete

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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — A man who prosecutors said abused his son until he killed the boy, then encased his body in concrete and told his girlfriend to lie and say the child fell in the ocean will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A Berkeley County jury deliberated 33 minutes Thursday before finding Roger Anthony Williams guilty of homicide by child abuse. Williams’ lawyer asked for a mistrial before he was sentenced because of the short length of deliberations, but Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis refused.

The boy’s mother tried to speak at Williams’ sentencing, but she couldn’t stop crying. Although Williams apologized, Dennis gave him the maximum sentence, saying that calling Williams’ behavior toward his son indifferent was putting it mildly.

Williams admitted to putting his son into a barrel after he died in June 2010, filling it with concrete and taking it from Summerville to Orangeburg County. But he denied killing the boy, blaming his former girlfriend Grace Trotman for the child’s death. She pleaded guilty and testified for prosecutors. As part of her plea deal, she will be sentenced later.

Trotman originally told authorities nearly a month after Rodricus Williams, 2, was killed that the boy fell into the ocean at the Charleston Battery. But she later admitted that her boyfriend told her to tell that story and led investigators to his body

In closing statements, prosecutors reminded jurors of testimony that said Williams often hit his son because he would stand like a girl.

“He took a happy little boy with all of his little songs and he beat him down until in the end, he was just sitting there dazed,” prosecutor Anne Williams said.

The key witness was Trotman, who testified that Roger Williams often hit his son and showed no emotion when a blow to the head led to the boy’s death. She said Williams wiped his son with peroxide to get rid of fingerprints, wrapped the body in trash bags and tape, and dropped the boy headfirst into a trash can he filled with concrete. The couple rented a truck and dumped the trash can in Bowman, Trotman testified.

Williams’ lawyer blamed Trotman for killing the boy. He reminded jurors during his closing statement that Trotman once told investigators her 2-year-old daughter pushed Rodricus Williams into the wall.

“She wants to blame anyone in this tragedy except herself,” James Falk said.

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corgimom 10/12/12 - 06:08 am
Sadly, "spending the rest of

Sadly, "spending the rest of his life in prison" really means "we'll keep him for a while and then release him due to overcrowding".

You just can't fathom someone who is so twisted and sick that they would abuse a little 2 year old, their own flesh and blood. And then put him in a trash barrel and treat him like a piece of trash.

CABoatright 10/12/12 - 07:05 am
How dare they...

How dare the defense attorney request a mistrial!! The jury was simply clear on his guilt! The jury deliberated 33 minutes...I'd say they were done after 33 seconds, after reading this story.
Next, shoot the mother immediately, no matter if she cooperated w/prosecutors or not-just shoot her.

Jane18 10/12/12 - 04:41 pm
A little angel gone

If there is one thing in this world that makes me angrier than anything else, it is the murder of a person, child or adult, that was more or less tortured before death, and then thrown away like a piece of garbage. This biological dad was, and is, someone that should have never fathered a child. Life in prison is too good for someone like him. This was a criminal homicide, there was child abuse, and then a murder was committed. If anyone ever deserved the death penalty, this man did--and does. I have to remember there are some people that are too good to be here on this earth, and little Rodricus was one of those......

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