Man charged with murder after girlfriend, child found dead in Bradenton apartment fire

Diamond Sherman and Jerimiah. (Family handout)
Diamond Sherman. (Family handout)

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) —  A man was arrested in Manatee County after his girlfriend and child were found dead inside an apartment that was on fire.

Larry Bernard Williams, 20, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of murder and one count of arson in connection with the deaths of 18-year-old Diamond Shelman and 8-month-old Jeremiah Shelman.

Deputies said Williams is Diamond’s boyfriend and the child’s father.

The sheriff’s office says a firefighter was on his way to work when he saw flames coming from a downstairs apartment at the Avalon Square Apartments on 14th Street West in Bradenton.

The Cedar Hammock Fire Department responded for assistance and found the woman and baby boy dead inside the apartment.

According to investigators, Diamond Shelman had trauma to her body that was not consistent with fire-related injuries.

“She was so sweet.  When I say she was a sweetheart, she was so sweet.  There was not a bad bone in her body,” her cousin Kiya Cook told News Channel 8.  “Like, everything about her was so good.  I don’t understand. I don’t see how God could let something like this happen to her.  And I really hope she didn’t suffer.  Like she didn’t suffer at all.”

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office


An investigation into the deaths and the fire are ongoing.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011.


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