WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – An incident report suggests a possible racially-charged motive behind the killing of a South Florida teen.
Semmie Lee Williams Jr., a homeless man living on the streets of Miami, is accused of killing 14-year-old Ryan Rogers in Palm Beach Gardens.READ MORE: SeaWorld Orlando Transfers 4 Manatee Calves To Ohio For Treatment
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report obtained by CBS4 News, a deputy asked Williams while being fingerprinted if he understood his charges, to which Williams said, “yeah, murder because of what they did to Black people about giving them syphilis.”
After that, the deputy says Williams got physical.
The deputy resisted and took Williams down.
As he was handcuffed, a sergeant in the report said Williams made an outburst: “If y’all didn’t help him, I was going to whoop his [expletive]! White devil!”
Pictures show Semmie Lee Williams Jr. with a scratch on his face after a scuffle with deputies as he was being booked into jail in December.READ MORE: 'Sick To My Stomach': Dollar Tree Fanatics Protest New $1.25 Prices
After the scuffle, Williams was placed on administrative confinement.
Former state and federal prosecutor David Weinstein says the outbursts may be used both by the both sides in the court room.
“He seems to be aggressive in nature in general, that’s something that the prosecution will try to use against him,” says Weinstein.
“It also appears that he needs some assistance with his mental health and that’s something that the defense will be addressing and asking the court to take into consideration.”
Between 2004 and 2016, Williams faced at least a dozen criminal charges spanning three states, including several charges in Florida.MORE NEWS: Add Over-The-Counter Medicine To List Of Growing Shortages
CBS4 News learned that Williams could have been sentenced to two decades in prison for a prior crime in Georgia where Williams allegedly strangled a senior citizen.