Florida police identify suspect in custody after teen’s ‘deliberate’ killing Semmie Lee Williams is accused of murder in the death of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers of Palm Beach Gardens
Florida police say a 39-year-old “homeless drifter” is behind the killing of a teenage boy who went out for a bike ride two weeks ago and never came home. Police announced charges of first-degree premeditated murder against Semmie Lee Williams Thursday morning in the stabbing death of Ryan Rogers, 14, calling, the suspect a “dangerous monster” and an “animal.” Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Clinton Shannon said Williams had a long criminal record, full of violence charges and stretching back two decades.
Williams’ most recent prior arrest came in Georgia in 2016, Shannon said – for assault and strangulation. That same year, California authorities labeled him a fugitive from justice on a warrant out of San Diego. And in 2014, he allegedly beat up a senior citizen in Atlanta. Other charges date to the early 2000s. “The incident itself appears to be a completely random act – we do not have a motive in this case,” Shannon said. “[It was] an innocent child victim having a chance encounter with a very violent criminal.” Court records show authorities booked him into Palm Beach County’s detention center around 10:50 p.m. Wednesday. Police from Palm Beach Gardens announced an arrest in the case earlier that evening saying they nabbed a suspect in Miami but did not release any other details. Shannon said investigators received a slew of tips over the past two weeks during a Thursday morning news conference
He called it an “unthinkable tragedy” and “unimaginable loss” for the Rogers family.