Monday, January 14, 2013
Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Markley Dennis sentenced Grace Trotman to 15 years Tuesday morning for her involvement in the 2010 death of 2-year-old Rodricus Williams.
On Feb. 16 she pleaded guilty. The sentencing was deferred until this week.
Dennis sentenced her to 15 years for the homicide by child abuse charge and 10 years for the desecration of human remains charge. The sentences are concurrent and Dennis said Trotman’s time served (since her arrest on July 8, 2010) counts toward the sentences.
The Department of Corrections will calculate the amount of time served to use in their calculations to determine when she is eligible for parole or when her sentence is completely satisfied.
Rodricus was the son of Roger Williams. Both lived with Trotman, 27, in the Berkeley County area of Summerville. Williams and Trotman share two other children who also lived in the residence.
On or about June 6, 2010 Rodricus died after being beaten and abused. Williams and Trotman encased the boy’s body in a trashcan filled with 400 pounds of concrete and dumped it behind an abandoned trailer near Vance in Orangeburg County.
Williams was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, the maximum sentence, on Oct. 11.
In the Charleston courtroom Thursday prosecutors said Trotman was cooperative, leading investigators to witnesses they likely would not have found otherwise. Trotman told investigators exactly where Rodricus’ remains were.
“Without Ms. Trotman’s help we probably never would’ve found this child’s body,” Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams said.
Trotman met with assistant solicitors Williams and Debbie Herring-Lash six times over the course of the investigation, prosecutor Williams said.
Two doctors spoke on behalf of Trotman, saying her case is a textbook example of patterns of domestic abuse.
The blood that was found splattered on the wall of the house was Trotman’s, not Rodricus’, as investigators initially thought, defense attorney Keith Bolus said.
He added that in Trotman’s arrest photo she has two black eyes and some of her hair is ripped out. Bolus spoke of her troubled upbringing. Her mother was schizophrenic and her father abused and molested her.
Rodricus’ mother, Shaneka Washington, also spoke.
“I would like to thank her for helping out with the trial,” Washington said. “I wish she had told me something. There’s plenty of times you were there you could’ve told me.
“If I ever had your child I would never let anyone hurt your child. I would’ve protected your child.”
Washington sobbed audibly.
Later that morning Trotman apologized to Washington and said she wished she’d talked to her and gotten to know her. She said her mind was being controlled by Roger Williams.
This part of the sentencing ended with Trotman, Williams and other family and friends in tears.
“I think I got it right with the life sentence for Roger Williams,” Dennis said before sentencing Trotman. “He deserved it because of his insensitivity to humanity.
“I’ve never lived what you had to do. My heart goes out to you. But I also know there are people who rise above it every day, extraordinary cases.
“I think you were more aiding and abetting. Do you deserve to be punished? Yes . . . I hope that what you’ve said you mean.”