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Prosecutors to seek death penalty against Semmie Williams Jr.

Murder suspect asks judge question in court, stopped by defense attorney
Semmie Williams Jr. in court, Jan. 28, 2022
Posted at 4:30 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 20:10:43-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man charged in the killing of a Palm Beach Gardens teenager.

The state has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Semmie Williams Jr., who appeared in court Friday on a new charge of corruption by threats against a public official.

It stems from an alleged incident that occurred in December while deputies were booking him into the main Palm Beach County jail.

Contact 5 was the first to report on the early morning altercation that left Williams with a gash on his forehead.

It happened just hours after Williams was arrested in Miami on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Nov. 15 stabbing death of Ryan Rogers near the Alton neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens.

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.

According to a probable cause affidavit by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, a corrections deputy asked Williams if he was aware of his charges.

"Yes, murder, and that's what they get for giving Black people syphilis," Williams answered, according to the deputy.

The deputy also claimed that Williams then raised his voice and said, "Yeah, I killed that mother (expletive) and I'll kill you too. Are you the mother (expletive) judge?"

Williams, who later denied making the comments, is accused of tensing up and walking away from the deputy, who then took Williams face-down to the floor during a tussle.

Semmie Williams Jr. cut on head after scuffle with deputies
This photograph shows a cut to Semmie Williams Jr.'s head after a scuffle with deputies at the main Palm Beach County jail.

"I was going to beat your ass if they didn't help," Williams told the deputy, the affidavit said.

In court Friday, Williams asked the judge a question but was stopped by his attorney.

WATCH: Semmie Williams Jr. asks judge question in court

Semmie Williams Jr. asks judge question in court

"Um, yeah, do they have that on camera?" Williams asked.

A judge earlier this month denied the public defender's request for a gag order in Williams' murder case.

He's being held in jail without bond on the murder charge.

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