Testimony begins in trial of DeKalb County mother accused of killing 6-year-old son in 1999A woman was found not guilty of murder in the 1999 death of her son in DeKalb County. Photo provided by Atlanta News First
By Jasmina Alston, contributor
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — Teresa Black sat in a DeKalb County courtroom on Wednesday, facing several charges in connection to her son’s death, including felony murder.
The body of 6-year-old William Hamilton was found in a wooded area in 1999.
In opening statements, the state said medications were detected in the boy’s body that were given to him shortly before his death, and they argue Black knew something was wrong with him, but never got him help.
“What’s going to become clear is that these woods were not some place she just happened upon, they weren’t a location she decided to lay her head down one night,“ prosecutors said. “What these woods were, were a dump site.”
Black’s attorneys said she and William were homeless and she was doing her best as a mother.
They claimed Black gave William medicine because he was sick and she then took him to the wooded area near Clifton Church Road to sleep.
According to her attorneys, the next day Black says her son didn’t wake up and she eventually left.
“She did not kill her son, she did not cause the death of her son, she did not cause the death of her son by giving him too much medication,” Black’s attorney said. “She did not cause his death by not seeking medical help, she did not hit him in the face and cause that broken bone.”
William’s body remained unidentified for nearly two decades and the case went cold until a woman called in a tip saying she knew Black and her son in 1998 and had been searching for William ever since.
The woman was one of several witnesses who spoke Wednesday.
Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.