Grace Trotman described in a Berkeley County court room on Tuesday how her former boyfriend’s plans to cover up the death of his son unraveled more than two years ago.
She took the stand in the trial against Roger Anthony Williams. He’s been charged with homicide by child abuse for the death of his 2-year-old son, Rodricus Williams, in 2010.
Trotman, who pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse in February has not been sentenced yet. Her plea agreement included cooperating with investigators.
She was escorted into the courtroom wearing a striped uniform. She’s been detained at the Charleston County jail for two years and three months.
On the stand, Trotman recalled the first time she met Roger Williams and later his son Rodricus.
“He didn’t want him to be his son,” she testified.
When Rodricus would first stay with the couple, Trotman said, the boy was a very happy child. During the boy’s visits Williams would get Trotman’s daughter, Yaya, to hit Rodricus to “toughen him up,” Trotman testified.
Trotman told the jury Williams started hitting his son if he “stood like a girl.” The abuse continued, according to Trotman, and the boy began acting differently, even having seizures at times.
On June 6, 2010 Rodricus Williams defecated on the bedroom floor, said Trotman. When Williams went into the room with the boy she could hear loud banging noises. She later entered the room and saw the boy looking like “he was in a daze.”
Trotman testified that the next day her daughter and Rodricus were fighting so she “popped him” and he lost his balance, hitting his head on the wall.
“He started acting different,” she said. “He was gasping for air. I laid him down and did CPR.”
Trotman told the jury she called Williams and he instructed her not to call 911. When he returned home from work, Trotman said the boy was dead.
“He said he didn’t know how to feel because he had no feelings for him,” Trotman said about Williams.
Williams left and returned to the Summerville home with a trash can and cement that he put in the garage, Trotman said.
“He wiped him down with peroxide,” Trotman said.
She testified Williams told her he didn’t want his fingerprints on the child. Williams wrapped the body in trash bags and tape, according to Trotman.
“He put cement on the bottom of the trash can,” Trotman said. “He put Rodricus in there with his head in first.”
From there, Trotman said they left the body, concealed by cement, behind a trailer in Orangeburg. When the boy’s mother wanted to see Rodricus, Williams told Trotman they would need to concoct a story about him going missing.
Trotman went to The Battery in downtown Charleston, where she claimed she was instructed by Williams, to meet the boy’s mother. Before her arrival, she was supposed to pretend she lost the child, she said.
After lying to police and a massive search for the child, Trotman ended up telling them where the boy’s body was and leading them to it.
Testimony will continue throughout the afternoon.
Follow twitter.com/ncaula for updates from the trial.