A California man is behind bars for murder after the San Fransisco district attorney failed to press charges on him two times for domestic violence instances.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Joseph Williams, 26, was arrested Tuesday night on charges of felony murder and child abuse in connection with the death of Synciere Williams.
Authorities arrived at the California Pacific Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon, after someone called about an unresponsive baby. The baby’s caregiver, identified as Joseph Williams, brought the baby in for medical care. Williams was not related to the infant, despite their same last name, authorities said.
Medical staff told police that the baby was pronounced dead upon arrival to the medical center and showed signs of trauma. The Medical Examiner’s Office listed the child’s death as a homicide.
Court documents indicate that Williams was arrested twice this year for domestic violence involving a female victim, but each time, he was not charged. San Francisco District Attorney’s Office officials reportedly indicated that the victim in the case wouldn’t cooperate, which forced their hands to drop the case.
“Given the lack of cooperation with prosecution, we were unable to move forward with either of those cases,” a spokesperson for the DA’s office, Rachel Marshall, told the Chronicle.
The director of La Casa de las Madres, a shelter for domestic violence victims, said that it’s not the victim’s job to work with authorities.
“No, no, no!” Kathy Black told the Chronicle. “Domestic violence is a crime against the state of California, and the district attorney’s job is to work with what the Police Department has gathered at the crime scene and develop the evidence to present a case. That’s his job — it’s not the victim’s job.”
San Fransisco DA Chesa Boudin said he hasn’t changed any policies on domestic violence cases since he took office last year.
“Domestic violence cases continue to be a priority for me and the office,” Boudin said. “We will as a matter of policy prosecute any domestic violence case we think we can prove with or without the cooperation of the victim.”
Meanwhile, Williams remains behind bars. Check back for updates.
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