MANATEE -- A judge is considering whether to reduce the bond for a Lakewood Ranch man charged with killing his girlfriend's 17-month-old son.
Richard Williams, 35, is charged with second-degree murder. He is being held at the Manatee County jail on a $750,000 bond.
If convicted, Williams could face life in prison.
The boy, William "Quincey" Pollard, lived with his mother and Williams in the home they shared in the 6200 block of Rosefinch Court in Lakewood Ranch at the time of the toddler's death July 11. He died from blunt-force trauma to the head, which caused his brain to swell, according to reports.
On Wednesday, Williams appeared before Circuit Judge Susan Maulucci as she listened to his attorney request a lower bond be set. Maulucci took the issue under advisement and will later issue a written order.
"A $750,000 bond might as well be no bond," defense attorney Jennifer Fury said. "The whole family collectively can't come close to that."
Williams has strong ties to the community as does his family, Fury argued. She also said he was not a flight risk, had no criminal convictions or a history of violence or mental health illness.
Several character witnesses testified, including William's family, co-workers and ex-wife, who once told authorities Williams had slammed her against a wall.
Meaghan Schatzman said Thursday that Williams was never violent.
"It was a fight that basically got a little out hand," Schatzman said. "I basically felt it would be better if we spent a night apart."
The state called only one witness, Quincey's mother, Courtney Pollard.
Fearful of facing Williams, Pollard stood at a podium facing Maulucci, standing by the prosecutor as she read from a prepared statement. Pollard said she feared for her life if Williams were able to bond out of jail.
"He is capable of murdering without regret," Pollard said.
She detailed things she said she uncovered in the days after her son's death, including weapons, a mysterious hole in a wall and a missing key she later found in Williams' lunchbox.
The visibly nervous woman said she was being a voice for the memory of beloved son and other mothers and children.
"Part of me died when he did," Pollard said. "No mother should have to bury her baby."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.