A Florida man blamed “the demon” for the deaths of his teenage girlfriend and 8-month old son, who were found dead in a burning apartment.
When firefighters pulled the limp body of 18-year-old Diamond Shelman out of her bedroom at the Avalon Square apartment No. 119 early Sunday, they discovered she had been stabbed and her throat cut, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Her 8-month-old son, Jeremiah, was also found face down on the bedroom floor. The District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office believe he died of smoke inhalation.
Larry Bernard Williams, 20, has been charged in the deaths of his girlfriend and their son.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
The blaze was discovered around 6:36 a.m. by a firefighter driving southbound on 14th Street West on his way to work. The witness saw a dark Chrysler 300 peel out of the Avalon Square apartments, 3506 14th St. W., as he drove in, according to the affidavit.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations found that an accelerant, most likely gasoline, had been used to start the fire. Three hours after the fire was discovered, detectives found Williams with burns on his leg and his Chrysler in the 2600 block of 50th Avenue Drive East.
Initially, Williams told detectives he didn’t know anything about the fire, according to the affidavit. Then he told detectives about a gas canister and knife, and where Diamond’s body was in the apartment.
When asked why he admitted these things, Williams said he was there when “the demon which takes him over” stabbed Diamond and torched the apartment.
Williams faces two counts of second-degree murder and one count of arson.