Man charged in beating death of elderly Youngstown relative

Mahoning County Coroner Dr. David Kennedy said William Cox, Jr. died of blunt force injuries

Julius Williams

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown police have charged a man with the murder of an 87-year-old relative on the city’s north side Monday night.

Julius Williams, 28, is charged with aggravated murder. The victim has been identified as William Cox, Jr. by the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office.

Police were called about 11:30 p.m. Monday to the 300 block of Harvard St. When they arrived, they found Cox dead inside the home.

Mahoning County Coroner Dr. David Kennedy said Cox had multiple injuries to his head and chest, which appeared to be caused by a hammer. The cause of death was ruled as blunt force injuries to the chest.

Police took Williams into custody soon after arriving on the scene. Neighbors and family members say Williams is the great-grandson of Cox, who was looking after him. A family member said Williams suffered from a mental illness.

“Just to have him die the way he did, it’s really heartbreaking,” said a neighbor, Roy Surles.

He said the two of them would often hang out and talk about their time serving our country.

“He love his family. I call him Bill. I’ve been knowing Bill for years,” Surles said. “We’d just get out here and work in the garden, plant gardens together and just look after each other.”

The Youngstown Police Department and Mahoning County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the death, which has been ruled a homicide. Williams remains in Mahoning County Jail

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