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Larry Bernard Williams Charged in 2017 FL Murder of Diamond Shelman and 8-Month-Old Jeremiah Shelman
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Thread: Larry Bernard Williams Charged in 2017 FL Murder of Diamond Shelman and 8-Month-Old Jeremiah Shelman

  1. #1
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Larry Bernard Williams Charged in 2017 FL Murder of Diamond Shelman and 8-Month-Old Jeremiah Shelman





    Man charged with killing his girlfriend, their infant son

    By Sara Nealeigh
    The Bradenton Herald

    MANATEE - A 20-year-old man has been charged with killing his girlfriend and their 8-month-old son in Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

    Larry Bernard Williams, 20, faces two counts of murder and one count of arson in the deaths of Diamond Shelman, 18, and 8-month-old Jeremiah Shelman.

    Shelman and her baby were found dead in their home at Avalon Square Apartments, 3506 14th St. W., early Sunday morning.

    A firefighter was driving along 14th Street West on his way to work shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday when he noticed flames coming from a downstairs apartment at Avalon Square, according to the sheriff’s office.

    The firefighter called for help, and crews from Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded. The victims were found inside the apartment.

    A homicide investigation started because Diamond Shelman’s injuries were not consistent with a fire, said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

    Officials on Sunday were waiting for the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the causes of death.

    The investigations into the deaths by detectives and the cause of the fire by the State Fire Marshal’s Office are ongoing. Authorities were still at the rainy scene as of Sunday afternoon.

    Neighbors described a bustling scene of fire trucks and EMS crews early in the morning. By 11 a.m., the fire engines were gone but an ambulance and the sheriff’s mobile command unit were parked behind the crime-scene tape strung up around the building.

    Gloria Harp lives in the neighboring building of the complex and said she usually feels safe, the worst thing that happens here is someone’s car getting towed. She cried as she learned Sunday morning’s victims were a young woman and her infant child.

    “My heart goes out to (the family), wow, I didn’t know,” Harp said through tears. “That’s heartbreaking.”

    Anyone with information on the incident should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011.

    http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/...169657217.html

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
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    Disturbing details after Bradenton man says ‘demon’ inside killed girlfriend, son

    By John Rogers
    WFLA News

    BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office released new details Monday behind the horrific deaths of an 18-year-old woman and her 8-month-old son.

    Larry Bernard Williams, 20, was charged with murder for the deaths of his girlfriend Diamond Shelman and son Jeremiah Shelman at the Avalon Square Apartments on 14th Street West in Bradenton.

    Officials say Williams stabbed Diamond on Sunday morning and then slit her throat. He then spread gasoline around the apartment and set it on fire.

    The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said Shelman died from her injuries and Jeremiah died from smoke inhalation.

    A firefighter happened to spot the smoke on his way to work. The firefighter also spotted a car driving from the scene which matched the description of a car owned by Williams.

    He was arrested at his home without incident.

    Williams later admitted to the crimes and said, “The demon that takes him over” stabbed Shelman and burned her apartment.

    Diamond Shelman’s mother, Nakiya Smalls, came to the burnt apartment Monday afternoon to remove some belongings.

    Since the death of her daughter and grandson, her world has been turned upside down.

    “This was senseless, this was a senseless murder. And this is not my story. I’m not supposed to bury my child, she’s supposed to bury me. And this is something that I can’t fix. I can’t fix this,” Smalls said tearfully.

    Prosecutors revealed when he was a juvenile, Williams was charged with capital sexual battery.

    Smalls tells us Williams and Diamond met while she was in foster care with Williams’ family. But she recently broke up and moved on with her life.

    “She was trying to get away, in the end. I will give her that, she was trying to break away and it seemed like he just wasn’t happy,” said Smalls.

    She can’t imagine how anyone could be capable of such a brutal and evil crime.

    “If you met her, she had the sweetest spirit, nobody would want to hurt her, it would take an animal to do something like this,” Smalls said.

    Diamond Shelman was supposed to start college this week. She was going to study to become a pharmacy tech. Instead, her mother is now planning her funeral.

    Williams is being held at the Manatee County Jail on no bond.

    http://wfla.com/2017/08/28/disturbin...irlfriend-son/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #3
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    Friends and family turn to God for healing as suspected killer blames ‘demon’ for his actions

    By Mark Young
    Bradenton Herald

    PALMETTO - About 75 people who knew and loved Diamond Shelman, 18, gathered in Lincoln Park on Sunday night with hands raised to God and praying for the community to heal in the wake of her tragic and violent death on Aug. 27 alongside her 8-month-old son Jeremiah.

    Rosalba Velazquez was Shelman’s best friend. The two became pregnant at the same time, became roommates and developed a bond like sisters.

    “She would always call me her sister and not a best friend,” Velazquez said. “That’s how close we were.”

    Velazquez said Shelman was trying to move on from her sometime boyfriend, Larry Bernard Williams, 20, who is suspected as being her killer. Williams was known to have another female in his life with another child, and Velazquez said it was just getting too complicated. Shelman had found someone she really liked, but her life primarily revolved around Jeremiah. She was on the road to great things.

    “She had a great job at CVS, and she was just starting to go to college,” Velazquez said. “I don’t know why (Williams) started coming back around, but if I know Diamond, it would be something to benefit Jeremiah. I never thought he would harm her in that way, but I know she isn’t suffering anymore. There’s no more pain, and I know she’s in a happy place and I know she’s still here.”

    Velazquez said Shelman was a soul full of love. Love for her family, friends, Jeremiah and God. Velazquez accepted Jesus Christ at Shelman’s funeral.

    “She loved God so much and would always tell me how much God loves me,” she said. “I know someday I’ll see her again in heaven and we’ll be back together. I believe God took Jeremiah, too, because there isn’t anyone who could have loved that child more than she did. Diamond was love and God wanted her back.”

    The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Williams, 20, on Aug. 27 for the killings of Shelman and her infant son. The next day, officials released the cause of her death as being stabbed with her throat cut, according to the probable cause affidavit. The baby was found face down in the apartment. He, too, was dead from smoke inhalation.

    Police say Williams killed Shelman and set her apartment on fire, resulting in the death of Jeremiah.

    Williams continues to be held on two counts of murder without bail in the Manatee County jail. Williams is also charged with setting the fire and a bond of $100,000 was set only for the charge of arson. Bond was withheld on the two murder charges. Gasoline was used to start the fire, and Williams was found the same day of the murders just three hours later with burns on his leg.

    He initially denied any involvement but then admitted he knew about the knife and gas canister inside the apartment. When asked why he admitted to knowing that, Williams said, “the demon which takes him over,” stabbed Diamond and torched the apartment.

    Velazquez isn’t buying it.

    “The devil can get to you, but he can’t force you to do that,” she said. “There was probably drugs involved. That’s the only you can do something that crazy and cause that kind of harm.”

    The mother and her young son were found in their home at Avalon Square Apartments, 3506 14th St. W. A firefighter en route to work on the morning of the murders at 6:36 a.m. spotted the the flames from a downstairs apartment and called for help. Crews from Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded, and the two victims were found inside the apartment at that time. Law enforcement immediately determined that Shelman’s injuries were not consistent with a fire and launched a homicide investigation.

    Williams has had previous run-ins with the law that include a 2012 charge of lewd and lascivious battery.

    While Williams traverses the court process en route to justice one way or the other, the community who loved Shelman will not soon forget her.

    “Look at these people,” said vigil organizer Wayne Washington. “This young girl touched a lot of lives. This young girl spread a lot of love.”

    http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/...171146912.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
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    This is my daughter and grandbaby. I pray he gets the death penalty. I dont understand why it's not 1st degree.
    Last edited by nakiya_smalls@yahoo.com; 10-05-2017 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Spelled a word wrong

  5. #5
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    In Florida a suspect is often charged with 2nd degree murder when first charged. A grand jury has to indict the suspect and this usually takes a couple of months. It is not uncommon that the charges are upgraded to 1st degree murder after the grand jury meets.

    Whether or not the death penalty is an option is up to the district attorney for this county.

    If you want to find out more about the case here is a link and the contact info. for the State Attorney's office in Manatee county.

    Bradenton Office

    Manatee County Building
    1112 Manatee Ave W.
    P.O. Box 1000
    Bradenton, FL 34206
    Phone: (941) 747-3077
    Fax: (941) 742-5868

    https://www.sao12.org
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #6
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    He said ‘demon which takes him over’ killed his ex and their son. Now he will claim insanity

    By Jessica De Leon
    Bradenton Herald

    BRADENTON - Larry Bernard Williams blamed the "demon which takes him over" for stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death before setting her apartment on fire, also killing their son. His defense intends to prove he was insane at the time of the murders, according to court records.

    With his trial set to begin in late June, defense attorney Christopher Boldt recently filed the intent to rely on an insanity defense. According to the court record, Williams suffers from schizophrenia, a major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Williams, 21, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson.

    Two psychologists are listed to testify in Williams’ defense to support his claim of insanity, a defense that is not often used in Manatee County and rarely works at trial.

    Valorie McClaine, one of the psychologists listed as a witness, testified for the defense in the 2017 trial of Andres "Andy" Avalos Jr., claiming that because Avalos had a psychotic breakdown, he did not understand it was wrong when he killed his wife, neighbor and a local pastor. The jury didn’t believe Avalos’ insanity defense and found him guilty of three counts of murder.

    On Aug. 27, 2017, an off-duty firefighter driving past the Avalon Square apartments, 3506 14th St. W., Bradenton, just after 6:30 a.m. spotted a fire coming from 18-year-old Diamond Shelman’s apartment. As the firefighter called 911 and pulled in, a Chrysler 300 was seen speeding out of the complex.

    Inside the apartment, Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue crews found Shelman and her 8-month-old son dead.

    Detectives learned that the baby’s father was known to drive a Chrysler 300. Within three hours of that make of car having been seen fleeing the scene, detectives found Williams and took him into custody.

    Initially, Williams denied knowing anything about the fire during a recorded interview with detectives. He quickly recanted, however, revealing details about the fire and murders that had not been made public and only the killer could know, according to detectives, including where a gas canister and knife were, the type of gas canister and where in the apartment Shelman’s body had been.

    But Williams claimed it was the “demon which takes him over” that stabbed his ex-girlfriend and set her apartment on fire. Detectives say he also admitted that burns on his legs were caused by that fire.

    The state attorney’s office has not indicated it will seek the death penalty if Williams is convicted. He has been held without bond at the Manatee County jail since his arrest.

    https://www.bradenton.com/news/local...227693864.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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