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Semmie Williams Jr. indicted by grand jury in fatal stabbing of Ryan Rogers

14-year-old boy killed by 'homeless drifter' in seemingly random attack, police say
Ryan Rogers and Semmie Williams Jr., photos divided by crime scene
Posted at 3:46 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 23:24:47-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The suspect in the fatal stabbing of a Palm Beach Gardens boy has been indicted by a grand jury.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced Thursday that Semmie Williams Jr. was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.

"My office is committed to seeking justice for the family of Ryan Rogers in a case that has greatly disturbed and saddened our community and beyond," Aronberg said in a statement. "Because this is a pending criminal case, I cannot make any further extra-judicial statements as we move forward with the prosecution of this defendant."

Williams, 39, is accused of killing the 14-year-old boy Nov. 15 after he went out for a bicycle ride and never returned home.

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Rogers' body was discovered the next day in a wooded area off Central Boulevard near the Interstate 95 overpass.

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

WATCH: Palm Beach Gardens police chief discuses Ryan Rogers murder arrest

Palm Beach Gardens police chief discusses Ryan Rogers murder arrest

DNA evidence collected at the scene linked Williams to the crime.

Contact 5 previously reported Williams had tried to choke a senior citizen to death in Atlanta under similar circumstances in 2014. But an Atlanta judge, in 2018, ordered Williams released despite a history of severe mental illness.

A first-degree murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.