Mother, boyfriend indicted for murder of 21-month-old child

The boyfriend was also indicted for alleged abuse of another child
Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 00:05:45-05

CINCINNATI — A 24-year-old woman and her boyfriend killed her almost 2-year-old child, Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers said Wednesday.

Hydia Hamilton-Smith and Rodney Williams, 31, have both been charged with 21-month-old Darnell Gamble's death. At the time of Gamble's death, he was exclusively in the care of Hamilton-Smith and Williams.

On July 31, 2022, Hamilton-Smith called 911 and reported that Gamble had a burn injury. Gamble was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where he died due to head trauma, Powers said.

Powers said the child's autopsy revealed multiple injuries including: cigarette burns, burns to the left side of his body, bite marks on his right shoulder, upper arm, left leg and fingers, a liver laceration, rib fracture, optic nerve damage and brain trauma.

Hamilton-Smith was indicted on two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault, two counts of endangering children and one count of involuntary manslaughter. Williams was indicted on two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children.

If both are convicted on all charges, Powers said they could face life in prison.

"Someone who is capable of something like this should never get out of prison," Powers said.

Williams was also indicted for the 2018 abuse of another 2-year-old, where he was accused of abusing his then-girlfriend's child, Powers said.

When that child was taken to Children's Hospital, the child had abdominal bruising, liver lacerations, lacerations on his adrenal gland, a black eye, fluid in his pelvis, bite marks and swollen and blistered lips.

That child did survive his injuries.

"What happened to these innocent babies is horrific," said Powers. "I can't imagine the pain these children suffered during their short lives."

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