Toccoa man on trial in Franklin County for death of toddler

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR

A Toccoa man is on trial this week in Franklin County Superior Court for the 2018 death of a toddler.

Jury selection began Monday and opening arguments got underway Tuesday.

In May 2019Willie Deshone Spencer of Toccoa was arrested and later indicted on two counts of felony murder, one count of malice murder, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.

On August 10th, 2018 deputies were called to a home on Williams Bridge Road off GA Highway 320 where a child had reportedly fallen from a stairway and was found unresponsive.

Sheriff Steve Thomas said a preliminary investigation determined that the toddler had injuries that were identified as physical child abuse.

Franklin County Emergency Medical Services transported the child to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

The toddler was later airlifted to Egleston Children hospital in Atlanta.

Thomas said the child died two days later. The body was then sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s office in Atlanta for autopsy.

According to the Sheriff, the Medical Examiner determined the toddler died as the result of trauma to the body and strangulation, and the death was ruled a homicide.

Spencer has pled not guilty.

Opening arguments began Tuesday.