Son describes pattern of abuse before death

Published 7:19 pm Monday, July 28, 2014

By Monique Roth

EDGARD — Poised and collected, 21-year-old Toi Williams took the stand for the prosecution Monday in the second-degree murder trial of Errol Victor Sr. and Tonya Victor.

The Victors are charged in the death of 8-year-old M.L. Lloyd III, the son of Tonya and stepson of Errol Sr. Toi Williams has the same relation to the Victors.

Williams’ steady countenance Monday was in stark contrast to that of his mother, Tonya Victor, who cross-examined him when given the chance.

The Victors are representing themselves in 40th Judicial District Court in Edgard.

M.L was pronounced dead at River Parishes Hospital on April 1, 2008. The Victors, who were arrested shortly after M.L. was brought to the hospital, have vehemently denied abuse accusations and have maintained their innocence, saying the child died as a result of a severe asthma attack.

Williams first answered the prosecution’s questions about the days leading up to M.L.’s death. He said Errol Sr., with the help of some of his older sons, started disciplining M.L. March 31 for stealing ice cream. The discipline, Williams said, included beatings, whippings and punches to the chest.

When asked by the prosecution when the abuse stopped, Williams said, “when it was time to go to sleep.”

According to Williams, M.L. was awoken around 5 a.m. April 1 by Errol Sr., who dragged the boy out of bed to continue the beating.

When asked by the prosecution where his mother was during the abuse, Williams said she was around the house and outside working in the garden. According to Williams, at one point Errol Sr. told Tonya to come and watch him discipline M.L. At no point, Williams said, did Tonya ever try to pull M.L. out of the situation or ask Errol Sr. to stop.

“At any point did the beating stop?” prosecutor Jonathan Blake asked Williams.

“No sir,” Williams answered, only to later add the beating stopped momentarily so Errol Sr. could pour alcohol onto M.L.’s wounds.

The jury, which consists of nine women and three men, listened intently to Williams’ testimony.

Tonya began her cross-examination with a series of rambling questions, asking Williams to identify people from his past. The prosecution objected several times, and Judge Mary Becnel fought to keep Tonya, who at times yelled at the prosecutors and Becnel, on track.

Tonya also yelled at her son as she tried to paint Williams as a troublemaker, asking him if he remembered getting into a lot of fights, lying and stealing when he was younger.

When the prosecution asked why the questions were relevant, Tonya said she was asking the character questions to show Williams had credibility issues.

Tonya then asked Williams if he remembers himself, as well as several brothers including M.L., fighting on March 31.

“It didn’t happen,” Williams said.

His response stayed the same for several of his mother’s follow-up questions.

When Tonya asked Williams about why in 2008 he wasn’t forthcoming with details to authorities, Williams closed his eyes and told Tonya it was because she had told him not to say anything.

“Son, you’re lying,” Tonya answered.

The case started Thursday and at that time authorities said it could last up to two weeks.