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Homeless drifter competent to stand trial in teen's death, doctors say

Ryan Rogers found dead Nov. 16 along Central Boulevard
Semmie Williams Jr., suspect in death of Ryan Rogers, Dec. 1, 2021 mugshot
Posted at 12:37 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 11:33:14-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County judge announced Wednesday afternoon that two doctors have found that a homeless drifter is competent to stand trial in the killing of a Palm Beach Gardens teenager last year.

A quick hearing for Semmie Williams Jr. was held in Palm Beach County courtroom just after 1 p.m.

Williams, 39, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Ryan Rogers, a 14-year-old William T. Dwyer Community High School freshman.

Judge Charles E. Burton in Semmie Williams case
Judge Charles E. Burton appears in court on April 6, 2022, for the Semmie Williams Jr. case.

The teen was an avid soccer enthusiast who was found dead Nov. 16 near the Central Boulevard sidewalk at the Interstate 95 overpass, less than 24 hours after his mother reported him missing, police said.

Another hearing in the case is set for April 20.

Judge Charles E. Burton will still have to make a final ruling on Williams' competency.

Prosecutors said in January they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.