Murder trial under way
The trial of Roger Anthony Williams began Tuesday in Moncks Corner.
Williams – accused of murdering his 2-year-old son Rodricus Fred Williams in 2010 – has maintained his innocence in the case, which captured the attention of the county and state.
The discarded body of the slain child was discovered in Orangeburg County two years ago.
Tuesday morning saw Grace Trotman testify. Trotman was the defendant’s live-in girlfriend at the time of the murder. Trotman has pleaded guilty to one count of homicide by child abuse in the case, as well as one count of desecration of human remains.
Trotman testified that the story she and the defendant told the public about a missing child who fell into the water by the Charleston Battery in 2010 was untrue.
Trotman would eventually tell investigators a different version of how the boy died and led them to his body, which was wrapped in trash bags and put inside a trash can filled with cement and dumped in the woods in Orangeburg County near Bowman.
While Trotman is not Rodricus’s mother, she and Williams have two other children in common.
Trotman testified on Tuesday that she pleaded guilty on Feb. 16.
She said she’s testifying because, “he (Williams) didn’t need to get away with it.”
“I owed that to Rodricus and I had to get it off my chest,” Trotman said.
According to Trotman, Williams would punch Rodricus in the back and the head, and throw his face to the floor.
The night Rodricus died, Trotman said she called Williams at work and he told her not to call 9-1-1 because Rodricus had bruises. She said she didn’t call 9-1-1 because she was scared.
Rodricus had officially been missing since July 6, 2010, but forensic investigators later determined he probably died on or around June 6. His body was wrapped in plastic bags, encased in concrete, and left behind a mobile home in Orangeburg County.
The body was so badly decomposed it had to be identified through DNA testing.
Investigators believe Rodricus suffered some medical issue on or around June 6 at the Longbourne Way home in the Sangaree area of Berkeley County, prompting Trotman to call Williams.
Williams allegedly directed Trotman not to seek medical attention for the boy, nor did he do so himself when he arrived at the home later.
A series of events began rapidly unfolding the evening of July 6 at Battery Park in downtown Charleston. At that time Trotman reported to Charleston Police that she saw Rodricus wandering the Battery and said he had possibly gone through the rails and fallen over the seawall into the harbor. An intense search for the boy ensued but was called off the next morning when it was determined that Rodricus had never been at the Battery.
Rodricus was the son of Williams and Shaneeka Washington, of Columbia. The two had made an arrangement for Rodricus to stay with Williams and Trotman at their home on Longbourne Way in Summerville until September 2010.