San Antonio, Texas, September 13, 2017: Last night, a Bexar County jury in the 379th District Court sentenced Gloria Proo, age 52, to 88 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On Monday, jurors found Proo guilty of Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury by Omission in connection with the death of 5-year-old Josiah Williams.
On December 27, 2012, emergency responders were called out to a home in the 3900 block of Gayle Avenue. Once inside, they discovered Josiah Williams unresponsive, lying on the floor. First responders, who immediately began attempting to revive the boy, said Josiah had two black eyes, cuts, scrapes, and bruising all over his body. Josiah was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy later revealed Josiah had been beaten and starved to death. At the time of his death, the 5-year-old weighed 38 pounds. The Medical Examiner testified Josiah died as a result of "dehydration in a battered, underweight child." Gloria Proo had cared for and babysat Josiah. During an interview with San Antonio police detectives, Proo denied any involvement in Josiah's death. During the trial, Josiah's maternal grandmother testified that prior to staying with Proo, he was a "happy, go lucky child." Josiah had been with Proo, his biological father Charleston Williams, and his stepmother Crystal Williams, for six months before he died. Additionally, a family acquaintance testified that Josiah's skin was "yellow" and appeared extremely underweight weeks before his death. At the time of his death, Josiah was not enrolled in school.
"In his short life, Josiah went through pain, torture and isolation," said District Attorney LaHood. "No child should die thinking they are alone and unloved. We commend the jury for sending a strong message with their sentence."
In June 2016, a jury sentenced Crystal Williams to 99 years in prison and assessed a $10,000.00 fine. Charleston Williams, who is also charged with Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury by Omission, is awaiting trial in the 379th District Court. Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury by Omission is a first degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Assistant District Attorneys Stephanie Boyd and Grant Bryan from our Child Abuse Unit prosecuted the case against Proo in the 379th District Court.