Jury: Williams guilty of homicide by child abuse

Roger Williams (file photo)

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- A jury has found a man accused of killing his son and placing his body in a trash can filled with concrete guilty.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour Thursday before finding Roger Williams guilty of homicide by child abuse.

He was sentenced to life in prison on the homicide charge. Williams also was convicted on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

He is not eligible for parole.

The jury had a choice of convicting him on that charge of a lesser charge of aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.

After the jury's decision, Williams was placed in handcuffs as he waited to be sentenced.

The mother of Rodricus Williams tried to speak before Roger Williams was sentenced but was overcome with emotion and could not speak.

Williams spoke before he was sentenced, apologizing to everyone including the mother of Rodricus.

An assistant solicitor told jurors during closing arguments that one would not dump a body if there wasn't something to hide. Prosecutors also asked that jurors hold Williams accountable.

The third day of testimony began Thursday in the trial and ended around 10 a.m.

The girlfriend of Williams took the stand earlier this week and said he abused 2-year-old Rodricus Williams "every chance he got."

It was revealed Thursday that Williams will not testify during the trial.

In testimony Wednesday, a pediatrician and expert on child abuse said the boy's death was caused by repeated head injuries. His brain was too decomposed to analyze at the time of the autopsy, the doctor said.

Authorities say the 31-year-old Williams and Trotman concocted a story that the child had fallen into the water off Charleston's Battery on July 6, 2010. They say that two days later, girlfriend Grace Trotman led police to the child's body in Orangeburg County.

Trotman has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced after Williams' trial.

The first witness called Thursday was the owner of the Economy Inn. Ron Patel testified Williams checked into room No. 305 for $50.

Attorneys for Williams at 9:45 a.m. were preparing to play the recording of an interview with Trotman.

In the interview, Trotman admits striking the 2-year-old. A Berkeley County sheriff's deputy testified that Trotman admitted striking the child but added that Trotman said Williams also beat Rodricus.

The defense called its last witness just before 10 a.m.

The judge told jurors that Trotman played a role in the child's death, but that does not exclude Williams from responsibility.