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How long will DeKalb dad get for drowning autistic son, 10?

Leon Williams waits to learn his fate Friday at 10 a.m.

The 44-year-old former state worker was convicted in mid-July of murdering his 10-year-old autistic adopted son in DeKalb County. Kentae Williams died, prosecutors said, in scalding bathtub water after his dad held his head under while lecturing him about acting out in school.

As Williams would later acknowledge, he lied repeatedly to police and tried to blame the child for the April 28, 2017, death, citing a tendency toward “self-harming” behavior.


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Williams, who at the time worked for the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, finally said he held the child under the water for 30 to 45 seconds twice at their apartment on Glen Hollow Drive off Flat Shoals Road. The medical examiner said it had to have been longer.

The jury convicted Williams on six counts. Here’s the possible punishment he faces on each:

  • Malice murder: between life and life without parole. “Life” typically keeps a person behind bars 30 years before they can seek parole, but the judge can rule that Williams should never have a chance at parole.
  • Felony murder: this count carries the same potential penalty as the previous one, though Judge Daniel Coursey Jr. said he intended to disregard this charge in sentencing.
  • Cruelty to children - 1st degree (three counts): from five to 20 years for each count.
  • Terroristic threats (for telling the child he was “going to die tonight” before the drowning): between one and five years.

In total, Williams faces a sentence ranging from 46 years to life in prison without parole plus 65 years.

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In other news: 

People 2 People: July 28, 2018

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