BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland man accused of killing his 6-year-old sister and two young cousins made a tumultuous appearance before a judge on Monday.
Antonio Williams, who police say confessed to the killings, has been ordered held without bond pending a mental competency hearing.
The murders shook the Clinton community in Prince George’s County. Two of the victims were just about to start first grade.
There was a lot of fighting among family members, who are in so much pain right now, and it got so bad, the judge had to postpone a mental competency hearing.
The chaos spilled outside the courtroom, where a family member of the three murdered children shoved a photographer.
But that was nothing compared to the near brawl in front of the judge that occurred just moments before.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks sums it up this way.
“This has to be, I tell you, one of the worst days we have ever had,” she said.
Williams began screaming and yelling for his mother in the courtroom, who told him she loved him, and he needs her.
That prompted the father of two of the victims to start screaming and cursing at her.
Different sides of the family then lunged at one another.
“One dad said, ‘She’s supposed to bury me,'” Alsobrooks said. “And he cannot yet understand how to move forward and to bury the baby that he expected to be able to bury him.”
Police say Williams stabbed his 6-year-old sister Nadira, and 6 and 9-year-old cousins, Ariana and Ajayah, who were left alone in his care Friday, but he left his 2-year-old sister unharmed.
Authorities are aware of no prior mental health issues, and say there were no signs the children were sexually assaulted. They are still trying to determine what his motive was.
“It was very hard for us. Very hard,” said neighbor Marjorie Russell. “We have grandchildren.”
“It’s just devastating to know something like that could happen to little children,” another neighbor said.
Prosecutors tell WJZ they never expected the courtroom chaos, and fully expect Williams to be found competent to stand trial, but they also believe there’s a lesson to be learned from this tragedy.
“I urge everybody in our community to be so very, very vigilant in terms of who we leave our children with,” Alsobrooks said.
Williams’ next court appearance is scheduled for August 29. He will remain behind bars at least until then.