MONCKS CORNER — Testimony continued on Wednesday, the third day of the trial of Roger Anthony Williams, accused in the death of his 2-year-old son Rodricus Williams in 2010.
Romana Smith, the sister of Grace Trotman, Williams’ ex-girlfriend who testified on Tuesday, told the jury Williams called her while he was in jail.
The phone recording was played for the jury where Williams could be heard explaining what he said happened to the toddler.
During the call, Williams first talked about an incident where Trotman’s daughter Yaya and Rodricus had wandered to the front yard of their Summerville home.
“I popped Rodricus in his chest,” Williams said in the recording. “He just bounced back up running around. I told him ‘Don’t play with mommy and daddy like that’ and he said ‘OK’.”
Williams went on to talk about the phone call he received from Trotman one day where she claimed Rodricus wasn’t breathing.
“She said ‘Should I call the ambulance?’ I said ‘Na, just chill,” Williams said.
On Tuesday when Trotman testified, she told the jury Williams forbade her from calling the ambulance and claimed she wanted to call 911.
“I tried to do CPR. His arms were stiff,” Williams said.
Williams is also heard saying he was scared when Trotman told him about Rodricus and sounded worried about the implications of the bruises that were on his son.
He’s been charged with homicide by child abuse. Trotman already pleaded guilty to that charge in February for her involvement in the toddler’s death.
Dr. Nicholas Batalis, an MUSC pathologist, also testified about the autopsy performed on the boy’s body. Williams had concealed Rodricus in a trash can of cement, which he left behind a trailer in Orangeburg, according to prosecutors.
“This was the longest autopsy I’ve done,” Batalis said in court.
A typical autopsy takes anywhere between one to three hours to perform. Rodricus Williams’ autopsy took half the day, according to Batalis.
The body had undergone “extensive decomposition.” The toddler had been dead about a month, according to prosecutors.
“The most difficult part of this case was accessing the body itself,” Batalis said.
Batalis determined the toddler had died of homicidal violence and probably blunt head injury.
Examination of the underside of the toddler’s scalp showed dark and faint blue discolorations, about five of them.
“It would require more force to show up here,” Batalis said. “The fact we were seeing it on the undersurface of the scalp means it was more significant trauma.”
He first identified the toddler through his hair, which was still intact, and the appearance of his teeth. DNA testing later confirmed his identity, according to Batalis.
Among the others who testified were two neighbors who lived behind and next door to Williams’ and Trotman’s Summerville home in 2010.
Hugh O’Neill told the jury about how Trotman ran over to his home in June 2010 to use the phone. It’s when Trotman said she called Williams to tell him what had happened to Rodricus.
Trotman testified on Tuesday that she “popped” Rodricus for fighting with her daughter and that he lost his balance and hit his head against the wall. This was after constant physical abuse from Williams, she said.
Prosecutors claim when Williams found the boy dead at home, after receiving the call from Trotman, he stuffed his body into a trash can of cement and dumped it. A month later, when the boy’s mother insisted on seeing her child, Trotman and Williams concocted a story about the boy going missing at The Battery in downtown Charleston on July 6, 2010.
That same night, after initially lying to investigators, Trotman told police they had made it all up and the next day she showed them where the boy’s body was.
Testimony is expected to continue throughout Wednesday afternoon.
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