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Photographs show injuries to Semmie Williams Jr. after jail scuffle

Incident reports detail how Ryan Rogers' murder suspect resisted deputies while being fingerprinted at jail
Semmie Williams Jr. cut on head after scuffle with deputies
Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 09, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Photographs obtained Thursday by WPTV show the injuries Semmie Williams Jr. received after he got into a scuffle with corrections deputies while he was being booked into jail.

The 39-year-old murder suspect is accused of stabbing Ryan Rogers to death last month in Palm Beach Gardens during what police described as a "random" encounter with the 14-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle.

According to a series of Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office incident reports, Williams was raising his voice and resisting deputies while he was being fingerprinted on the intake floor of the main jail.

RELATED: 'This guy is going to kill somebody:' Georgia senior recalls attack by Semmie Williams Jr.

Deputies Josue Nicolas and Corey Anthony said they heard Williams being loud and pull away from Deputy Michael McCabe, who was fingerprinting Williams. They said McCabe took Williams face down to the floor, and then they helped hold him down until he could be handcuffed.

McCabe said the incident began after he asked Williams if he understood why he was being arrested.

"Yeah, murder because of what they did to Black people about giving them syphilis," Williams answered, according to McCabe.

McCabe said Williams became "significantly louder" and yelled, "Are you the (expletive) judge?"

"As he said this, his left hand tensed up," McCabe wrote.

side profile of Semmie Williams Jr. injuries after jail scuffle
This photograph provides an alternate angle to the injuries Semmie Williams Jr. suffered during a scuffle with deputies at the main Palm Beach County jail.

McCabe said he tried to move his hands to Williams' arm and wrist, but Williams "pulled away from me and tried to walk away."

"He attempted to take me down by holding my right arm and shifting his weight forward and to his right," McCabe wrote. "I resisted this and quickly took him to the floor, face down."

RELATED: Semmie Williams Jr. could have been sentenced to 2 decades in prison

After Williams was handcuffed with the assistance of Nicolas and Anthony, he told deputies, "I was going to beat your ass if they didn't help."

Williams, who was bleeding from his face, was treated for his injury by the intake nurse and then taken to the infirmary.

Rogers disappeared Nov. 15 after he went out for a bike ride and didn't return home. The boy's body was found the next day in a wooded area off Central Boulevard.

Ryan Rogers in soccer uniform with Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association backdrop
Ryan Rogers, 14, an avid soccer lover, was found dead in Palm Beach Gardens.

Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Clint Shannon said Williams was a "homeless drifter" who fatally stabbed the teenager in what appears to have been "a completely random act."

RELATED: Semmie Williams Jr. used Tri-Rail to travel between Miami, Palm Beach County

Police used DNA evidence to link Williams to the crime.

The public defender's office has asked a Palm Beach County judge to intercede in preserving Williams' medical records, which show "his severe mental illness," assistant public defender Scott Pribble wrote in an emergency motion filed Wednesday.

Pribble said the records are in possession of a third party.

Williams is charged with first-degree murder. He was being held without bond.

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