DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – The jury in the DeKalb County cold case is currently deliberating in a trial that has gained national attention due to its gruesome details. Teresa Black stands accused of killing her 6-year-old son over 20 years ago and leaving his body to decompose in the woods of DeKalb County. William Hamilton’s remains were discovered six months after his death in 199.
Throughout the five-day trial, jurors have been diligently taking notes, demonstrating the significance of this case. Black’s defense attorneys, acknowledging society’s lack of sympathy towards their client, have urged the jury to consider the circumstances surrounding Black’s actions. They emphasized that she was a young, homeless, and alone mother who did not know how to handle her son’s illness.
Despite admitting that she left her deceased child in the woods, Black maintains that his death was an accidental overdose of medication and that she had no intention of harming him. Prosecutors, however, argue that Black deliberately administered a lethal dose of medication to William. Due to the state of decomposition of William’s body, medical professionals have been unable to determine the exact cause of death.
The jury’s decision rests on whether Black is guilty of felony murder, which requires proving intent. Additionally, jurors must assess whether a fracture on William’s jawbone was a result of maternal assault or post-mortem animal scavenging.
Witnesses called by the state have testified that Black is guilty based on her departure from the state shortly after her son’s death and her consistent lies over the past 23 years. Both William’s father and aunt have expressed their disappointment, stating that they were willing to care for the boy if given the opportunity.
After being recognized in an image released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Black eventually disclosed to detectives that she was homeless and her son was malnourished. According to her, after giving William medicine one night, he never woke up. Fearful and lacking support, she did not contact emergency services.
Black’s lawyers maintain that their client should not be on trial for her lies but rather for the allegations at hand.
As the jury carefully deliberates, the nation waits for a verdict in this haunting case that has remained unsolved for decades.