A Pennsylvania man was handed a life sentence after a judge determined he killed the 8-year-old son of his fiancée with “specific intent.”
Orlando Williams, 39, of North Braddock guilty of first-degree murder after details of the trial revealed he banged the head of JonMarquis Stepich on a flat surface “over and over and over and over again,” reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
When prompted with the question of if Williams had a specific intention behind his deadly abuse, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel did not waver.
“I find beyond a reasonable doubt the answer is yes,” she said in court on Monday.
Williams was sentenced to the mandatory prison term of life with no possibility of parole. What’s more, as he was led from the courtroom, he oddly displayed no reaction. An attorney for the child’s mother, who also faces charges of endangering the welfare of children, said she was pleased with the sentence.
“My client is very satisfied with the verdict. It was very tragic what happened. Justice was definitely served today in the courtroom,” Dan DeMarco, an attorney who represents JonMarquis’ mother, Aliehsa Lininger, told the Post-Gazette.
When Lininger testified against Williams during last week’s non-jury, she said Williams was abusive to her sons, punched them and often spanked them with belts and cords.
The abuse which resulted in the death of JonMarquis occurred on June 20, when Williams got mad at the child for not cleaning his bedroom.
According to the New York Post, Williams had been drinking and that morning he tripped over a laundry basket in the boy’s room. He then became angry and tried to slam JonMarquis on the edge of the bed; however, he missed and the child was slammed on the floor.
He woke Lininger and said JonMarquis needed to go the hospital because he was unconscious, having trouble breathing and had vomited. The physicians who saw the boy testified that JonMarquis had a subdural hemorrhage in his brain caused from his head being repeatedly struck, with force, on a flat surface.
Judge McDaniel found that other bruises on the boy’s body — as well as a bruise on his chest prosecutors said was from Williams, who punched him for not taking the trash out the back door instead of the front — showed a continuing course of abusive conduct.
Lininger’s case is scheduled for trial before Judge McDaniel on Dec. 13.