Parents facing additional charges after toddler found dead in Rock Hill home


ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A Rock Hill couple is facing homicide and murder charges after their 2-year-old son died while in their care in April.

A victim's advocate revealed in court that 33-year-old Bruce Williams and 25-year-old Lakesheia Jackson were in a hotel room on Riverview Road in Rock Hill with their three children on April 24. Police say the couple told them their 2-year-old son, who they identified in court as Miguel Williams, accidentally drowned in the hotel bath tub.

According to arrest warrants, Jackson and Williams intentionally withheld medical attention from the little boy, who was unconscious. Police say the couple waited two hours to get the child help because they said they were afraid of getting in trouble.

As a result of the investigation, the couple was initially charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.

On Monday, Rock Hill police announced that Jackson and Williams will face more charges. Jackson was additionally charged with homicide by child neglect. Williams is also facing the charges of homicide by child abuse and murder.

Police said Williams allegedly used "physical force on the victim that he knew would likely cause death given the victim's fragile condition."

"Williams admitted that he had done drugs at the hotel and that Jackson had smoked marijuana," the victim's advocate said in court.

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Shortly after police were called to a house in the 1100 block of Williams Street at 9:57 a.m. on April 24 in reference to the toddler not breathing. Officials say Jackson and Williams do not live at the home where police responded. Neighbors who live on Williams Street say the couple went to the house to seek help.

The victim had what appeared to be various injuries on his body that were consistent with an assault was pronounced dead on the scene, police say.

"They {the homeowners} had nothing to do with it, they were just trying to help," neighbor Marlene Cooney said. "She is probably shook up."

A judge granted Williams a court-appointed attorney. He told the judge he does not have a job and admitted to being homeless, police say.

In addition to the 2-year-old boy, Williams and Jackson have a 3-year-old child and a 5-year-old child together. Jackson told the judge she was 5-months pregnant with their fourth child. She also said she has a 6-year-old child with another relationship.

The 3-year-old and 5-year-old child are now in the custody of DSS.

Jackson's 6-year-old child is in her grandmother's custody, with whom she says she lives with. She begged the judge to give her a bond or allow her to be released under an ankle monitoring system so that she could get medical attention for her pregnancy and take care of her 6-year-old child.

"I'm sorry for everything that's going on and that everything was a complete accident," Jackson said to the judge.

Jackson's bond was denied. She told the court her family would help her hire a private attorney.

Jackson and Williams will make their initial court appearances at the Moss Justice Center on June 25 at 1 p.m.

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