A man was charged Tuesday in the murder of his girlfriend’s 16-month-old boy who police said was beaten to death at his Gwinnett County home.
Cody Lorenzo Williams, 23, was charged with murder and first-degree child cruelty in the death of Noah Nolan, according to Gwinnett County police.
“Detectives believe that Williams struck Nolan with his hands, causing the fatal injuries,” police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. “Williams was caring for Nolan and one other sibling at the time of the incident. Nolan's sibling was not injured.”
On Monday around 10 p.m., officers responded to 1355 Graves Road in unincorporated Norcross, after getting a report of a deceased child, Smith said. At that point, the infant was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead upon his arrival, Smith said.
Because signs of physical injury were found on the child, investigators were called in to take over the case, Smith said. Their investigation led Williams, the boyfriend of Nolan’s mother, the only adult present at the time the incident, the spokesman said.
“Accused struck child with great force in the face two times with the heel of his hand and shook the child roughly,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Address records show Williams lived at the complex, the paper reported.
A resident of the complex said she watched as the toddler’s mother, whose name was not released, sat on the pavement crying with her hands over her face after learning of the boy’s death.
“I guess he didn’t want to tell, but he kept saying he didn’t know what happened,” Jasmine Lloyd told Channel 2 Action News.
Williams was being held without bond Tuesday evening at the Gwinnett County jail. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.
The mom is not expected to be charged in the incident, police said.