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'I killed that mother (expletive),' Semmie Williams Jr. tells deputy at jail, report says

Disciplinary report shows murder suspect later denied making comments
Semmie Williams Jr. cut on head after scuffle with deputies
Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 19:41:17-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — When asked if he understood why he was being booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge, Semmie Williams Jr. told a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office corrections deputy, "Yeah, I killed that mother (expletive) and I'll kill you too," according to a deputy's report reviewed by Contact 5 on Wednesday.

Williams then asked, "Are you the mother (expletive) judge?" and threatened Deputy Michael McCabe, the report said.

An inmate disciplinary report shows Williams later denied making the comments.

Semmie Williams Jr. confession in report

"That's a lie," Williams said, according to the paperwork. "He lied. I would love to hear the audio."

Williams never identified Ryan Rogers by name and had previously denied having any interaction with the teenager he's accused of stabbing to death Nov. 15 in Palm Beach Gardens.

The report also does not say to whom Williams was referring when he made the comment.

Ryan Rogers picture at Palm Beach Gardens police news conference, Dec. 2, 2021
A picture of Ryan Rogers serves as a backdrop at a Palm Beach Gardens Police Department news conference, Dec. 2, 2021, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Former prosecutor Lourdes Maria Casanova said the State Attorney's Office will attempt to use the statement to prosecute Williams.

"The prosecution may seek to admit the alleged confession by the crime suspect as an 'admission' under the rules of evidence,'" Casanova said in an e-mailed statement to Contact 5.

Lourdes Maria Casanova on Semmie Williams Jr. confession

Criminal defense attorney Michael Rabideau, who has no relation to the case, also said the alleged admission by Williams will be litigated in court.

"If he'd made some sort of unsolicited spontaneous statement that can be used as a confession," he said.

Michael Rabideau, defense attorney discusses Semmie Williams Jr. confession
Michael Rabideau, a criminal defense attorney not involved in the case, says the alleged admission by Semmie Williams Jr. will be litigated in court.

Contact 5 also asked Rabideau if Williams' history of mental illness might negate any statement he made about the crime.

"If I was his lawyer, that would be my focus as well, because it seems that mental illness has been something that has troubled this individual for quite some time," Rabideau said. "So that definitely has to be explored."

The alleged statement occurred earlier this month after Williams was arrested in Miami. Palm Beach Gardens police said Williams apparently killed Rogers in a random attack while the 16-year-old boy was out for a bicycle ride. His body was found the next day.

Chopper 5 view of search for Ryan Rogers
A view from Chopper 5 shows Palm Beach Gardens police search for Ryan Rogers in a wooded area off Central Boulevard.

As Contact 5 previously reported, Williams is also accused of trying to take down a deputy in the fingerprint area of the jail.

The deputy was able to take Williams face-down to the floor, according to a report.

Images obtained by Contact 5 from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office earlier this month show a large open wound over the right eye of Williams after the incident.

Williams is represented by the public defender's office, which has a policy of not commenting on open cases.

A spokesman with the state attorney's office told Contact 5 that the office does not comment on open cases either.

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