DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The man charged in the drowning death of his adoptive son will go before a judge for a bond hearing Friday morning.
According to an arrest warrant, Leon Williams admitted to beating 10-year-old Kentae Williams with a belt, pouring hot water on his feet and holding him under water in a bathtub for 30 to 45 seconds. The 43-year-old was charged with murder and cruelty to children in the first degree.
On Friday, April 28, DeKalb County Police responded to the 300 block of Glen Hollow Drive (Serenade Apartments) after Kentae's grandmother called 911 to report her grandson had drowned. Authorities said by the time they arrived at the scene, the child wasn't breathing.
Kentae was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Neighbors told FOX 5 they saw Williams and Kentae minutes before the alleged drowning.
"He said in front of all of us, 'I'm gonna kill him, he's gonna die tonight, I'm gonna kill him'," Alicia Lemons said. "We didn't think he would actually go through with it."
Geri Williams, the young boy's grandmother, told police she was home checking on her grandson when she heard him "yelling and throwing a fit because he didn't want to take a bath." She said that the boy's father was periodically checking on the victim to see if he was okay.
According to the grandmother, Mr. Williams was in his bedroom changing when the house "got quiet." That's when the suspect performed CPR and told the grandmother to call 911, saying Kentae may have had a seizure while taking a bath.
"At the hospital, injuries didn't support a seizure," Officer Shiera Campbell said. "After speaking to the suspect, he admitted to causing harm to the child."
According to the police report, the suspect adopted the victim after he was in foster care.
"To be adopted into a home where you think you're going to be loved and then this happens," Lemons said. "He never got the chance to be loved. Now he's in a cold box somewhere."
Williams' bond hearing is set for 1 p.m. Friday.