Williams found guilty in child starvation case - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Williams found guilty in child starvation case

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Ashley Williams Ashley Williams
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A jury has found Ashley Williams guilty of felony murder and felony child neglect in the death of her 2-year-old son.

This verdict ends a four day trial but an even longer saga for Ashley Williams, her family, prosecutors and the community as a whole. The convictions come almost four years to the day D'Sean Williams was found dead.

Prosecutor Julie McConnell was almost brought to tears during her closing argument. She told the jury the argument is not that Ashley Williams woke up everyday and said, "I want to kill my son." The argument is that she made a choice to neglect her two-year-old son D'Sean and "because she did nothing she caused his death."

Jurors once again saw autopsy photos of D'Sean, in which he looks nothing like a smiling child - he is skin and bones. You can count every rib and notch on his spine. His face is almost unrecognizable. McConnell and her partner Mary Langer said this "doesn't happen in this country."

"It's rewarding to see the community respond to the death of a child and say children are owed protection and safety in their own homes and the protection and safety from their parents and I think that's what the verdict said today," said Langer.

Defense Attorney Joe Morrissey gave an emotional plea to save his client. He told jurors "the Commonwealth wants you to believe she's this evil person... she was a saint, and the only crime that's occurred here is that the Commonwealth's attorney has charged her with murder and neglect."

Her family reacted on the way out of court Friday night.

"I was pissed, I guess you could say," said Altovise Williams. "I was pissed. I was hurt."

Defense attorneys again shifted blame to the doctors, saying they didn't do enough in not diagnosing the two-year-old with a condition called "failure to thrive."

Williams was facing a 50-year maximum sentence. The jury gave her the minimum penalties on both charges.

"It's not over. This is just the beginning. It's not over. We're going to fight this to the end."

Williams' formal sentencing date is scheduled for July.

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