State workers fired after boy drowns in bathtub

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Three state workers have been fired after a 10-year-old drowned in a bathtub.

Police arrested Leon Williams, 43, earlier this month for the death of his adopted son, Kentai, according to police.

Police said Williams' mother called 911 on April 28 and said her son was angry that the boy didn't want to take a bath, and that the child was unconscious in their apartment on Glen Hollow. The boy later died.

Channel 2's Tom Jones learned on Tuesday that two supervisors and a case manager were fired, one supervisor was demoted and another case manager will be given more training in the wake of the child's death.

“There were some staff that we did have to terminate in the organization,” said Virginia Pryor, deputy director of the Department of Human Services. “And there are some staff that we are working on disciplinary action.”

Pryor said her office investigated two prior abuse allegations involving the child and the father.

The first allegation in March was unsubstantiated. Seven days before Kentai died, the agency received another allegation of abuse, and that case was still open.

Pryor said the child’s case should have been investigated deeper after the second allegation.

“That was the time we should have increased our scrutiny over the case,” she said.


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Pryor said the agency provided Williams support to help him work through issues he may have had with the child.  

“Unfortunately, Mr. Williams chose to end his child’s life,” she said.

Neighbor Alicia Lemons said she heard Williams say he was going to kill his son.

“I heard, ‘You gonna die tonight,’” she said. She said she didn’t take him seriously.

“Because you hear parents say, ‘I’m going to get that boy. I’m going to kill that boy,’ and then they just punish them,” she said.

Pryor said threatening comments have to be taken seriously.

“If you see something, you need to say something,” she said.

Lemons said she won’t let it go the next time she hears something.

“Don’t say that around me, because I take it to heart because I don’t want this to happen again,” she said.

The Department of Human Services is continuing to review the case.