DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County father has been charged with the drowning death of his 10-year-old son, Kentae Williams.
Leon Williams, 43, has been charged with murder and cruelty to children in the first degree.
Last Friday, DeKalb County Police responded to the 300 block of Glen Hollow Drive (Serenade Apartments), after the victim's grandmother called the police to report her grandson had drowned. Authorities said by the time they arrived at the scene, the child wasn't breathing.
Kentae was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"At the hospital, injuries didn't support a seizure," Officer Shiera Campbell said. "After speaking to the suspect, he admitted to causing harm to the child."
Harm that police said included beating his son with a belt, pouring hot water on his feet leaving burns and bruises and then repeatedly holding Kentae under the water for 30-45 seconds at a time.
Neighbors told FOX 5, they recall seeing Leon and Kentae minutes before the alleged drowning.
"He said in front of all of us, 'I'm gonna kill him, he's gonna die tonight, I'm gonna kill him," Alicia Lemons said. "We didn't think he would actually go through with it."
But that's exactly what police said Leon did.
Geri Williams, the young boy's grandmother, told police she was home checking on her grandson when she heard him "yelling and throwing a fit because he didn't want to take a bath." She said that the boy's father was periodically checking on the victim to see if he was okay.
According to the grandmother, Mr. Williams was in his bedroom changing when the house "got quiet." That's when the suspect performed CPR and told the grandmother to call 911, saying Kentae may have had a seizure while taking a bath.
According to the police report, the suspect adopted the victim after he was in foster care.
"To be adopted into a home where you think you're going to be loved and then this happens," Lemons said. "He never got the chance to be loved. Now he's in a cold box somewhere."
This is an ongoing investigation.