‘Homeless drifter’ competent to stand trial in teen’s death, doctors say

Posted at 12:51 PM, April 8, 2022 and last updated 3:13 PM, December 13, 2022

By Scott Sutton

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPTV) — A Palm Beach County judge announced Wednesday afternoon that two doctors have found that a homeless drifter is competent to stand trial in the killing of a Palm Beach Gardens teenager last year.

A quick hearing for Semmie Williams Jr. was held in Palm Beach County courtroom just after 1 p.m.

(L) Ryan Rogers (Palm Beach Gardens PD), (R) Semmie Williams, Jr. (Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office) via WPTV

Williams, 39, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Ryan Rogers, a 14-year-old William T. Dwyer Community High School freshman.

The teen was an avid soccer enthusiast who was found dead Nov. 16 near the Central Boulevard sidewalk at the Interstate 95 overpass, less than 24 hours after his mother reported him missing, police said.

RELATED: ‘Homeless drifter’ accused of stabbing 14-year-old boy to death

Another hearing in the case is set for April 20.

Judge Charles E. Burton will still have to make a final ruling on Williams’ competency.

Prosecutors said in January they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.

This story was originally published April 6 by WPTV in West Palm Beach, an E.W. Scripps Company.