SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Monday that he's charging a man with murder in connection with the death of a 7-month-old boy who died last week after suffering blunt force trauma to his head.
According to police, officers responded on April 20 to the California Pacific Medical Center in the 1200 block of Franklin Street for a report of an unresponsive infant brought to the hospital.
The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital and hospital staff alerted the officers of what appeared to be signs of trauma on the child.
After further investigating, officers then moved to arrest 26-year-old Joseph Williams, the boy's caretaker who initially brought him to the hospital. Williams was arrested on suspicion of murder, assault on a child causing death and obstructing an officer.
Williams is being held without bail, according to jail records.
The city's Medical Examiner's Office has identified the infant as Synciere Williams.
Joseph Williams and Synciere are not related, police said.
Boudin called the infant's death a tragedy.
"We are so deeply sorry for the family, whose enormous grief we can only imagine," he said in a statement. "My office has filed murder charges and we will put every resource at our disposal into prosecuting this case. We know nothing can make the family whole again, but we will work our hardest to make sure there is justice. Please know that our office is mourning with and for you."
Boudin acknowledged that Joseph Williams had recent prior domestic violence-related arrests involving a woman "he had an intimate relationship" with, but who was not the victim's mother. In both cases, Boudin's office was not able to charge Joseph Williams and prosecute him due to lack of evidence. In addition, in both cases, the female victim chose not to move forward with prosecution, which left prosecutors without a witness' testimony.
Boudin said his office is committed to prioritizing cases involving domestic violence and prosecutes them whenever it can.
However, in light of the case, the District Attorney's office will begin reviewing all policies related to charging in domestic violence crimes and will be reaching out to law enforcement and community partners to ensure best practices when obtaining evidence and in supporting victims, Boudin said.