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'This guy is going to kill somebody': Georgia senior recalls attack by drifter now accused in teen's death

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 23:37:44-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Georgia senior citizen, who was previously attacked by the man accused of killing Palm Beach Gardens teenager Ryan Rogers, said he tried to get the judge and prosecutor to put the mentally ill man in prison to no avail.

In a Contact 5 exclusive interview, Dennis Brincks said he still suffers from the injuries from Semmie Williams Jr. beating and choking him on Feb. 7, 2014.

Police charged Williams with aggravated assault strangulation and battery against a person 65 and older in the attack.

Williams, who police describe as a homeless drifter, is now charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 15 attack on Rogers as the 14-year-old rode his bicycle in the early evening near his Alton neighborhood home.

"I'm very sorry this has happened. It shouldn't have happened. (He) shouldn't be dead. He should be alive," Brincks said.

Brincks, now 73, said a Georgia judge and prosecutor had a chance to keep the public safe by keeping Williams behind bars.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Cox sentenced Williams in May 2018 to time served — about three years between jail and mental institutions.

The case had been delayed not only by Williams' mental illness but also that he had fled to San Diego and had to be extradited back to Georgia.

The news of the arrest of Williams has Brincks looking back seven years to when Williams ambushed him on an Atlanta sidewalk, attempted to strangle him to death and then tossed him in a ditch.

Brincks said his life was saved by a passerby who stopped the attack and caused Williams to flee.

Police caught Williams an hour later and Brincks ended up in the hospital with injuries to his face and back.

"He's a killing machine, and I know what he does. He just stakes it out. He hides, and then somebody comes along, and he just throws them off guard," Brincks said. "And then he just finishes them, and he gets this intense pleasure brutalizing them."

Semmie Williams Jr. is accused in the death of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers, who was found dead Nov. 16, 2021, near the Central Boulevard sidewalk at the Interstate 95 overpass in Palm Beach Gardens.

Brincks said Williams — very mechanically and calmly — put him in a chokehold and threatened to "finish" him.

"I wanted to tell the judge what kind of individual he is. And next thing I know, they call me and said, 'It's been postponed indefinitely,'" he said. "The defense attorney was hoping I would give up, but every time they called me, I said, 'I'll be there because this guy's going to kill somebody.'"

Technically, the judge could have sentenced Williams to 21 years for the crime if he went to trial and was convicted.

The court was aware of Williams' mental state. He would write rambling paranoid letters to the judge. In one letter, Williams said law enforcement's "goal is a new world order to make everyone a gay slave."

Williams often claimed he was being stalked in his letters and told the court he was acting in self-defense when he attacked Brincks.

"I want to get this guy put away, and they wouldn't help me," Brincks said.

WPTV reported last week that the judge wanted to put Williams on a Greyhound bus back to live with his mother in Sanford. However, the mother later changed her mind. How Williams ended up back as a homeless drifter remains unknown.

Brincks shudders to think what Rogers went through on the evening of his bike ride and how it all could have been avoided.

"Oh God, what this kid must have gone through. The hell, the hell this kid must have went through," he said.

WPTV contacted Cox's office in Georgia. The Superior Court of Fulton County declined comment on his behalf.

The district attorney's office did not return WPTV's message for comment.