A woman who since August has stood accused of murdering her 6-year-old son with a child’s keyboard has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 19 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Shequena Marie Williams, 29, formerly of Ledbetter Drive, Conway, had been held without bond since her arrest on Aug. 26 at the Faulkner County Detention Center. Her son, Javari Washington, died of injuries including swelling of the brain on Aug. 17, four days after being admitted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Williams changed her plea from not guilty to no contest during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday. In pleading no contest to the charge, 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden said on Tuesday, Williams was agreeing that the evidence against her indicates her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in “knowingly causing the death of another person under conditions manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
Had the case come to trial, Vaden said, the state would have presented evidence supporting allegations that Williams struck her son in the head with his child-sized musical instrument — a keyboard — and also kicked him, resulting in injuries to both the head and chest.
Vaden said that the state would not have argued that the murder was premeditated.
“It seemed to have been more of a situation where you have someone who was angry and obviously not dealing with another person, specifically a child, in the manner that one should.”
“This is one of those cases that is truly terrible,” he added.
Williams’ two younger children have been taken into DHS custody, Vaden said.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at email@example.com. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)