'They failed me': Father speaks out after children tragically murdered

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 09, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The estranged father of the two children police say were murdered by their mother, says the system failed them.

The last time Darryl Williams says he saw his children Deon and Skyler was almost two years ago.

"I got a story from the school, and they said Deon had to make a comic book up of superheroes. Be in mind, my son hadn't seen me in almost two years, and I still was his comic book hero," Williams said tearfully.

LEX 18 met with Williams at his home in Cincinnati, the city Deon and Skyler were born in. He says they moved away with their mother, Nikki James almost four years ago. Ever since then, Williams says it's been nothing short of a fight to see his children.

"Me just crying out to the system saying just listen to me I need help. Can I at least get to see my children," said Williams.

Williams says he'd initiated a petition with the Hamilton County Juvenile to get visitation rights and joint custody of Deon and Skyler. Documents from court reveal at one point there was a warrant for James' arrest for contempt of court because she didn't show up or follow through with visitation rights.

"She was in contempt several times for not letting me see my children but that was down here in Hamilton County. They were saying they couldn't go up there and get the kids. I had put in several things to Hamilton County to let them know that she was unstable, but I could not prove anything. They never had my back," said Williams.

Williams had precious memories with Deon, who he says he helped name and gave him his same initials.

He's struggling right now to process how he went from fighting to see the kids, to placing a call with police telling them he was concerned about their safety, to now planning their funeral.

"They failed me," said Williams. "A lot of people tell me I'm strong. But it hurts."

Williams and his partner were the ones to call 911 on Sunday night asking for a welfare check. It was just after James called them and claimed she was "in a cult" and was "in fear of her life."

Public records show police officers went to James's apartment after that call, arrived at 8:48 p.m., stayed for about an hour, and left. Officials say James stabbed them to death the next day.

"You had to sit there with her for an hour on Sunday, and then Monday she took the children's lives and hers, well tried to, what didn't y'all didn't see," said Williams.

Now Williams is trying to grapple with feeling like he and his kids were failed twice by the very system put in place to protect them.

"The world is very, very hard on men. And even more, so Black men trying to do the right thing. I understand they got their own preset perception of how they want to view us. But some of us know how to grow up when we grow up. And we do the right thing, and we still get pushed back and things like this happened because nobody else seen what I seen," said Williams.

After going to the funeral home to make arrangements for his children on Monday, he is understandably inconsolable because he was clinging to the hope that he would have more time.

"I'm not afraid to show this emotion. I just want this emotion to mean something and make a change," said Williams.

If you want to get in contact with Darryl Williams or help the family with funeral expenses, reach out on their GoFundMe page: