A mother has pleaded guilty in the starvation case of her five-year-old son. The boy’s father and step-grandmother will face a jury on charges that they starved and beat the little boy.
Two other children, ages eight and two, were taken into the custody of child protection workers but appeared to be well-taken care of. The case seems to fit classic scapegoating, where abusive parents single out one child for abuse or neglect.
Five-year-old Josiah Williams died on December 27, 2012. Authorities were notified when the boy stopped breathing.
The boy was found to be severely malnourished and he had two black eyes and cuts all over his body, according to the San Antonio-Express.
Prosecutors are seeking the maximum punishment allowed under Texas law. Crystal Williams faces from five to 99 years in prison.
According to the local paper, Williams was accused of failing to provide medical care for her son, and of causing serious bodily injury by starving him. Crystal Williams admitted that she failed to get the boy medical help but she would not admit that she failed to give him nourishment.
Josiah’s father, Charleston Williams, and the boy’s step-grandmother Gloria Proo, have been charged with injury to a child. The crime is a felony. The offense is a felony of the first degree when the condiuct is committed intentionally or knowingly. When the conduct engaged in is reckless, the offense is a felony of the second degree. It is a state jail felony when the person acts with criminal negligence, including criminal negligence by omission.
Josiah’s other grandmother, Patty Ojeda-Quintero, testified that she had Josiah in her care for several months but Crystal Williams stopped her from seeing the child. Ojeda-Quintero testified that Josiah was healthy when he was staying with her. She was reported to cover her face and wept when the shocking photos of a gravely emaciated Josiah was shown in court. Crystal and Charleston Williams had the boy in their possession during the six months before he died.
The grandmother was entitled by a family court order to a four-week visit in June 2012 but that all ended. The San Antonio-Express reported that Crystal Williams called Ojeda-Quintero in the fall to say that she and Mr. Williams had been awarded temporary custody.
Crystal Williams is in jail and awaits the punishment phase of the trial.