Grace Trotman sentenced in death of Rodricus Williams
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Summerville woman who pleaded guilty to charges related to the death of her former boyfriend's son has been sentenced to 15 years in prison with credit for time served.
Grace Trotman pleaded guilty in February in a Charleston County court to one count of homicide by child abuse and one count of desecration of human remains for her part in the death of 2-year-old Rodricus Williams.
Prior to her sentencing Tuesday, Trotman apologized in court.
"I sincerely and deeply apologize to everything that's happened and I pray you find it in your heart to forgive me," she said. "I'm so sorry I didn't do the things I should've done because I was terrified."
On July 6, 2010, Rodricus was reported missing along the Battery. The report prompted a city-wide search for the toddler. The next day, police say Trotman led them to Rodricus' body.
That report launched a wide-scale search that spanned two days.
Trotman and Roger Williams, the toddler's father, were arrested and charged with homicide.
In pleading guilty, Trotman agreed to fully disclose what she knew about the boy's death. The information was used in her boyfriend's case.
Trotman testified that Williams abused Rodricus "every chance he got." She also told the jury how the boy died and how they hid the body, concocting a phony missing person's report when the boy's mother came to pick him up thinking he was still alive.
Trotman originally faced up 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty is in the range of 40 years to life.
Her lawyers told the judge that she had also been a victim, facing "constant, constant abuse at the hands of Roger Williams" for over four years.
A psychology expert also took the stand to testify about the abuse, saying that Trotman is "emotional, depressed and suffers from PTSD."
Rodricus' mother, Shaneka Washington, took the stand and thanked Trotman for her part in William's trial, but said she wished Trotman had come forward sooner.
"I would've always protected your child," Washington said.
After Tuesday's hearing, Washington spoke again, this time showing sympathy.
"After a while I started feeling bad for (Trotman) because I didn't know what she was going through herself," said Washington. "I would have been comfortable if she had gotten 10, she got 15 and that's not bad either."
In the end, the judge sentenced Trotman to 15 years for homicide by child abuse, credit for time served since July 2010 and 10 years for desecration of remains, all to run concurrently.