The verdict was recently handed down in the utterly heartbreaking and disturbing case involving the murder of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of his mother’s fiancé. Earlier this week, 39-year-old Orlando Williams was found guilty of murdering JonMarquis Stepich.
According to reports and court testimony, Orlando Williams killed JonMarquis Stepich because the young boy failed to clean his room. Reportedly intoxicated on the night of the murder, Williams picked up Stepich and slammed him on the floor, after missing the edge of the bed, simply because he tripped over a laundry basket in the little boy’s room. The Root has the full details on Williams sentence as well as the charges that Stepich’s mother, Aliehsa Lininger, is facing.
Via The Root:
At around 6 that morning [after the incident], Williams woke JonMarquis’ mother, telling her that they needed to take the boy—who was unconscious, was having trouble breathing and had vomited—to the hospital. However, two doctors testified that JonMarquis had a subdural hemorrhage in his brain, which was caused from his head being repeatedly struck on a flat surface, the Post-Gazette notes.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel also noted that other bruises were found on the child’s body, including a bruise on his chest that prosecutors say Williams inflicted after he punched the child for not taking the trash out the back door instead of the front. McDaniel said that these bruises demonstrated continuous abusive behavior. In making her guilty finding in the nonjury trial, McDaniel also found Williams negligent regarding calling for medical help after he realized JonMarquis needed attention, displaying malice and a specific intent to kill. Williams also was found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment.
JonMarquis’ mother, Aliehsa Lininger, is also facing charges of endangering the welfare of children in the case, according to the Post-Gazette. However, she testified against Williams during the trial last week, saying that Williams was abusive to her sons and often punched them and beat them with belts and cords. Lininger said that she and the children were terrified of Williams.
As the verdict was read inside the courtroom, reports say that Williams showed no emotion or remorse for his crimes. Meanwhile, Lininger, who’s own trial is set to begin on December 13, is said to be relieved at the verdict and feels much safer now, according to a statement made by her sister Lauren Anthony after the trial.
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