(INSIDE EDITION) - A Georgia man who'd recently adopted a 10-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with drowning the child in the family bathtub, police said.
Leon H. Williams, 43, told investigators he had whipped the boy with a belt, poured hot water over his feet, and then held him underwater for 30 to 45 seconds, according to a DeKalb County Police warrant, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The boy, who had previously lived with the man under foster care, was recently adopted by Williams, police said.
Kentea Williams was being punished for acting out in school, investigators said Williams told them.
Geri Williams, the boy's grandmother, called 911 Friday night, saying Kentea wasn't breathing, police said. She told officers she saw burns marks on the child's feet, the warrant said.
A witness told investigators she saw Williams grab the boy's neck earlier in the day as the two walked in their apartment complex's parking lot, according to the police report. "He's gonna die tonight, I'm gonna kill him," neighbor Alicia Lemons told Fox5 Atlanta, the station reported.
Williams was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on first-degree charges of murder and child cruelty, authorities said.
Defense attorney Leeanne Lynch told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Mr. Williams maintains his innocence and we're going to do our best to represent him zealously."
It was unclear whether Williams had entered a plea.