Grand jury indicts father in shooting death of child, 1; could face death penalty


William Roberts

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A man has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly killing his 1-year-old daughter during a domestic violence incident near Polaris last week.

William S. Roberts, 28, is facing numerous charges in connection with the July 20 incident:

  • 1 count of aggravated murder
  • 1 count of attempted aggravated murder
  • 1 count of attempted murder
  • 1 count of kidnapping
  • 2 counts of having weapons while under disability
  • 1 count of aggravated robbery
  • 4 counts of robbery
  • 1 count of tampering with evidence

Many of the charges against Roberts carry specifications, such as firearm and repeat violent offender specifications, according to court documents. If convicted, Roberts could be sentenced to death.

The indictment was filed Wednesday by the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

According to Columbus Police, the shooting was reported in the area of Lazelle Road and Worthington Galena Road on the night of July 20.

Police said the shooting happened inside a home, at which point Roberts allegedly put the mother and girl into a car. The car then crashed, before Roberts allegedly carjacked another couple’s vehicle and ended up crashing that car.

Roberts was taken into custody a short while later.

The girl was taken to St. Ann’s Hospital, while the mother was taken to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in stable condition.

Roberts has a criminal history dating more than a decade.

In 2011, records show he pleaded guilty to public indecency. That same year, he also pleaded guilty to felonious assault, and he was sentenced to six years in prison.

In 2019, Roberts pleaded guilty to breaking and entering, according to court filings.

Documents also show he has one active case in the court system, in which he is facing charges for improperly handling a firearm and having a weapon under disability.

If you need help, call the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at 614-781-9651 or reach out to your local domestic violence program, which can be found by searching on

Many programs offer emergency shelter, legal advocacy, support groups, and counseling.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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