Mother accused of killing children in oven wants attorney to interview surviving child

Judge reschedules hearing for mother accused of killing her kids in 2017
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 7:03 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:34 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A woman facing trial for murder after two of her children were found dead with their heads trapped in an oven was expected to appear in court Friday for a final plea hearing, but instead, her attorney worked out an arrangement to postpone the hearing until he can interview one of his client’s surviving children.

Public defender Arnold M. Ragas told Atlanta News First his client has not decided yet whether she wants to take a plea deal. She wants to first weigh all options, he said, including hearing what her surviving 8-year-old son might say if he were to take the stand at trial.

The murder case five-and-a-half years ago stunned metro Atlanta. On October 13, 2017, Williams, who was 24 at the time, called 911 and said she came home from work and found two of her four children dead. She claimed she had left her children in the care of her cousin but said the cousin had left.

Inside the apartment on Howell Place in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, officers found the bodies of a 1-year-old boy and a 2-year-old boy. Their heads were trapped in a tipped-over oven. Williams’ 6-year-old daughter was at a different location that day with relatives, police said. Her three-year-old son was in the home at the time. He was unharmed.

Police said they soon determined that Williams concocted the story about leaving her children with her cousin. They arrested her and charged her with murder.

According to reports, an autopsy later showed the boys had been burned, but the medical examiner couldn’t determine a cause of death. Investigators couldn’t rule out that the boys had been strangled before being placed in the oven.

A few days after the boys died, Williams’ mother told Atlanta News First reporter Adam Murphy that she had reported her daughter to the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services trying to get social workers to remove her grandchildren from the home.

“I did tell DFCS everything because I either wanted them to give me the kids or get the kids out of her possession because, at one time, I thought she was just going nuts not feeding them,” she said.

In an interview a few days after the murders, Brenda Williams said her daughter had mental issues that started at an early age.

“She was a slow learner,” she said. “I had to pull her out of school and do home school. She would do little simple things like cut her -- my other daughter -- her dolls’ heads off.”

Her daughter’s mental problems, she said, seemed to worsen after her children’s father left.

“I told him, ‘Something tragic is going to happen. She’s going to do something to those kids. She’s going to do something to herself,’” said Brenda Williams. “You know, we see stuff like this in horror movies, but in my family? My two littlest grandkids are gone because of what my daughter did. I might need to go get help. This is hard.”

A new hearing date has not been set. Check back with Atlanta News First for updates.