27-year-old Stevie Dwayne Williams Jr. was convicted of capital murder of a child under 10 years of age and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole because the State did not seek the death penalty.
The Hays County DA's office says that trial evidence showed Williams and his wife called 911 on July 4, 2018, claiming their 20-month-old son Mason was discovered not breathing after a nap.
Kyle fire and EMS crews responded and attempted to perform life-saving measures on Mason, but noticed bruising and evidence that his death had actually occurred hours earlier. The DA's office says that investigators later learned Williams had called his grandmother and told her Mason was dead twelve minutes before he called 911.
Both the medical examiner and a Dell Children’s Hospital pediatrics expert testified that Mason’s death resulted from squeezing the child’s body, depriving his brain of oxygen, says the DA's office. The day following Mason’s death, the Williams’ other child was removed from their care by Child Protective Services. Physicians discovered multiple serious injuries on her, with many similar to those on Mason.
During a July 2018 statement, Williams told detectives that he and his wife knew for certain what happened to their children. He claimed that Mason was taken by a demon or pure evil. Williams also gave multiple statements containing numerous inconsistencies and denying knowledge of his children’s injuries, says the DA's office. Extractions from both Williams’ and his wife’s phones, however, showed injuries to both children over several months.
In addition, CPS caseworkers testified to observing similar injuries on Mason in 2017, says the DA's office. However, Mason had been returned to Williams and his wife in March 2018 after the Williamses had completed required services.