A convicted man currently serving a life sentence for his role in the death of his 7-month old daughter was denied a new trial. The motion hearing was held Monday in the Liberty County Justice Center.
Liberty County Superior Court Judge David L. Cavender listened as the lawyer for Travis Williams, 34, presented his motion.
Attorney Richard Allen filed the motion saying there was insufficient evidence presented during his criminal trial in July 2010 to prove that Williams was aware of, caused or knew the extent of injuries his daughter, Syikiria Williams, which the jury found she suffered while under his care.
The young girl’s plight first came to light in September 2008, when she was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. During her stay, Hinesville police detectives were notified by hospital personnel and the Division of Family and Children Services who reported that the girl had injuries that appeared suspicious in nature indicating possible abuse.
The child was eventually taken off life support when two separate tests, performed 24 hours apart, revealed the child had no brain functions.
Williams became a suspect when autopsy reports concluded the infant’s death was caused by head trauma.
Williams was charged with murder, cruelty to children and contributing to the deprivation of a child. The child’s mother, Casey Nicole Shuman, also faced multiple charges but entered a plea agreement in May 2010.
Under her agreement, Shuman agreed to testify against Williams and cooperate with the prosecutors. Shuman was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of probation to three counts of cruelty to children and two counts of deprivation of a child.
During Williams’ trial, which lasted four days, testimony from local law enforcement indicated that the child had sustained burns to her toes, showed signs of being shaken, was not taken immediately to receive care after sustaining a fractured right leg, was not taken to receive care for a medical condition that required a heart monitor and had never been immunized.
According to public records, Shuman said she was the sole financial provider for the family, sometimes working 18-hour days. She said she trusted that Williams was caring for the child. Shuman said she also had two older children who were, at that time, under Williams’ care as well.
Williams will continue to serve a life sentence and is currently housed at Dooly State Prison.