Man sentenced to 30 years in 3-year-old's killing

VIDEO: Man convicted of homicide by child abuse in 3-year-old's killing

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man found guilty of killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old son has been sentenced to 30 years, according to the solicitor's office.

Curtis Williams was convicted of homicide by child abuse Thursday in connection with a 2014 death, according to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

Wilson's office confirmed Friday he was sentenced to 30 years in prison at a sentencing hearing on Friday.

North Charleston Police initially responded to MUSC Children's Hospital on Oct. 26, 2014, to a report of an unresponsive child brought in who had died at approximately 5:47 p.m., the incident report states.

The Charleston County Coroner says the child, Kamari McKithen, died from blunt force trauma. That trauma caused his spleen to rupture and bleed, court documents state.

Williams told police that he and the child took a nap after the child's mother went to work, then woke up and watched football. He said he took the child to a park and played for about 30 minutes until he noticed the child sitting on a bench with his head down. Williams said he took the child home and gave the child a Capri Sun and attempted to give the child a Tootsie Roll but that the boy didn't want it, the report states.

Williams told police they watched more football until the child defecated in his pants. Williams said that after he bathed the child and brought him to the couch, "he started acting weird," the report states. Williams said the child went limp with shallow breathing as soon as Williams picked him up.

Investigators say they found several bruises on the child's body, including a large bruise on his left back rib area, a court affidavit states.

Williams confessed to detectives to "chopping" the boy in his left back rib cage because "he did not walk out the bathroom fast enough," court documents state. When asked to clarify what "chopping" meant, police say Williams demonstrated a closed-fist strike which he delivered to the victim's left back rib cage.

At that hearing, North Charleston Detective Sid Lewis testified Williams, who was in the courtroom for the hearing, told police he "chopped" the boy in the back with a closed fist because he spent too much time in the bathroom.

"He explained to me the victim was using the restroom, asked him if he was done and the victim just sat there and looked at him, said he chopped him in the back," Lewis testified.

On the witness stand, Lewis also said that during an interview with Williams he showed the suspect photos from Kamari McKithen's autopsy. He said one of the photos brought Williams to tears.

"He said this bruise, and he pointed right here to his back. He said this where this bruise is? I said yes sir, and he dropped his head and started crying and that's where he said he chopped him."

Officers found a knife in the bathroom Williams apparently used to cut the victim's clothes off after the boy soiled himself, Lewis said. He said Williams cried when asked about a large bruise on the victim's back.

Williams' defense attorney called for a dismissal of the charge because the state has not proved homicide. But Judge James Gosnell ruled there was enough probable cause to send the case to trial.

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