HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County’s top prosecutor made a personal appeal to charge the accused teenage suspect in the death of 13-year-old Lucia Bremer as an adult after a judge denied her request last month.
On Thursday, a Henrico Circuit Court Judge made the decision to allow her request. Dylan Williams, 15, is expected to be tried in the Henrico Circuit Court in July 2022.
Prior to the court’s decision on Thursday, Williams’ name was not made public knowledge.
On Nov. 22, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor requested the case be transferred from juvenile court to the Henrico Circuit Court.
Henrico Juvenile and Domestics Relations Court Judge Stacy Lee denied that initial request.
After the juvenile court judge’s ruling, Taylor remained adamant that based on the circumstances of the shooting, there are grounds to charge the teen as an adult.
Shannon Taylor made her appeal at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
During the appeal, the defense brought forward a psychologist who did an assessment on the suspect and diagnosed him with “unspecified trauma or stressed related disorder” and “unspecified neurological developmental disorder.” Defense argued for the teen’s rehabilitation instead of incarceration, saying he had a challenging home life that left him traumatized and unstable.
It was revealed in court that Williams’ mother had died after suffering an asthma attack and heart attack a couple of years before Lucia Bremer was killed. His father had also been murdered when he was just two years old. The defense said at one point, it was unclear “who had custody” of the now-teenager. It was pointed out several times that “more should have been done” to help Williams following the deaths in his family, but that he repeatedly refused to participate in counseling.
If Taylor’s appeal had been denied and he had been found guilty, the teen would have been released from the juvenile system at the age of 21 at the latest.
The defense and prosecution both said they want to see Williams get help and rehabilitation.
“This is about whether or not there is the ability of the court to provide resources, to provide supervision beyond 21,” Taylor said Thursday.
She believes trying Williams as an adult is in his best interest and is the best thing for the public safety.
However, the defense had argued that transferring the 15-year-old’s case to circuit court could leave him getting “less rehabilitation and more punishment,” if found guilty.
He is suspected of shooting and killing 13-year-old Bremer while she was walking home from Quioccasin Middle School with a friend. The shooting occurred on Mar. 26 in the Gayton Forest West subdivision of Henrico County. According to testimony Thursday, Bremer had nine bullet holes.
In September, months after the shooting, a judge ruled that there was probable cause for Taylor to prosecute the suspect for Bremer’s death.
“The fact that there were two young girls who were facing that danger and Lucia lost her life, we, the Commonwealth, believes that the nature of the offense warrants the review,” Taylor told 8News last month.
The teen suspect faces charges for second-degree murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm of a juvenile, one additional brandishing of a firearm charge and one count of attempted murder, as well as charges for a school shooting threat.
Williams was charged with assaulting his mother, a counselor and two Henrico Police officers in incidents beginning in 2018. According to testimony, he was immediately hospitalized for mental health issues two different times. Williams was never convicted and all of those charges were withdrawn.
It was revealed in court on Thursday that over the past few years, Williams allegedly brought a knife to school and had been in trouble with the school for allegedly sexually harassing female classmates, including threatening to rape another student.
A school resource officer (SRO) testified that she had been called to respond to incidents involving Williams several times.
According to a Henrico police detective’s testimony in court, Williams threated to conduct a mass school shooting on social media less than two weeks before he allegedly killed Bremer. He also allegedly tried to recruit other students into what he called a “Satan gang.”
The three day trial is set for July of 2022.
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