A Georgia mother of three accused of killing two of her children “by putting them in an oven and lighting it” waived her first court appearance on Friday morning, local Atlanta media reported.
Lamora Williams is charged with a myriad of crimes in the October 2017 deaths of her sons Ja’Karter Penn, 1, and Ke’Yaunte Penn, 2 – who police say were killed at around a hour interval.
On the night in question, the defendant called 911 and expressed fear that her sons were dead – and that she was going to jail.
In February 2018, Williams was charged with four counts of murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of concealing the death of another, and one count of misrepresentation.
She was also charged with two counts of first degree child cruelty, one count of second degree child cruelty, one additional count of aggravated assault, one count of obstructing a law enforcement officer and a battery charge. resulting in significant physical harm, Fulton County Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
Law enforcement said the two toddlers “received burn marks on their bodies at some point, possibly from the stove,” People Magazine reported.
“When I walked in, the stove was on my son, on my youngest son’s head, and my other son was lying on the floor with his brain lying on the floor,” Williams allegedly told the 911 dispatcher, according to Atlanta. WAGA, Fox-based subsidiary of Fox. ” I do not know what to do. I just come back from work.”
The accused told police she left her three children with a carer from noon to 11:30 p.m. and returned home to find that two had died while the carer was away, WAGA reports.
“Can you help me please?” she would have asked the dispatcher. “Like. Can you please tell me, like, I don’t want to be locked up because it’s not my fault? I had just come home from work.”
In an arrest warrant obtained by Law&Crime, the Atlanta Police Department alleges that between midnight October 12, 2017 and 11 p.m. the next day, Williams “knowingly and intentionally” killed the two toddlers “by placing them in an oven and turn it on.
Her third child, 3-year-old Jameel Penn Jr., was not injured.
According to autopsy reports obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the boys’ heads were stuck in an overturned oven. The medical examiner disagreed with police claims that the children had been burned.
“These thermal changes appear to be entirely due to dry heat and changes due to prolonged heat exposure,” the medical examiner reportedly wrote in both autopsies. “It would take a long time to get to that degree.”
The boys’ father also called 911 – around the same time Williams was hesitant to give the dispatcher his address on Howell Place in the Oakland City West End neighborhood.
“I just received a call from the mother of my child informing me that my… two of my… two babies are dead; my sons died in an apartment,” Jameel Penn told the dispatcher. “She video called me and I saw it. I really think they’re dead.
The distraught father described the video call in comments to local ABC affiliate WSB-TV.
“It was like a real horror movie,” he said. “It was Friday the 13th.”
Police told the TV station that the eldest boy, who survived, saw his mother kill his two younger brothers.
The case was delayed due to pandemic concerns and for mental health assessments and related procedures.
Williams was in the courtroom Friday morning but did not appear before the judge for a scheduled final plea hearing, according to WAGA and local NBC affiliate WXIA.
Instead, state and defense attorneys reportedly agreed to a special setting for a trial date that a Fulton County Superior Court judge will announce in the future.
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