Williams pleads guilty to attempted murder

By Allen Worrell Editor

August 14, 2013

A 24-year-old Woodlawn man will serve at least 13 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to two counts of attempted murder and other charges related to a January 9, 2012 attempted carjacking in Hillsville.

Richard Austin Williams pled guilty Friday in Carroll County Circuit Court to two charges of attempted murder, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of attempted murder, one count of attempted carjacking and one count of use of a firearm in an attempted carjacking.

Just before 7 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2012, the Hillsville Police Department and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to the lot behind Dawn Auction in Hillsville. There, they found Williams with gunshot wounds. Williams was taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

According to police reports, Williams met with two victims to test drive a car. After driving the car and telling the owner he wished to purchase the vehicle, he brandished a weapon and shots were fired. The second attempted carjacking victim returned fire and hit Richard Williams. During the preliminary hearing, David Myers testified that he shot Williams after the man pulled a gun on him and his brother, Terry Myers.

Represented by Defense Attorney Edgar DeHart, Williams pled guilty to the six charges Friday. He is set to be sentenced by Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler on October 9. According to Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan H. Lyons, Williams faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 13 years and a maximum sentence of 43 years.

After a 2012 preliminary hearing, four additional charges were placed against Williams in the case – two counts of attempted abduction and two counts of attempted abduction with use of a firearm. However, Lyons said Williams agreed to plead guilty late last week to the six original charges if the four newer charges would be nolle prossed.

“With consent of the victims, we agreed to nolle prosequi the other four charges because it guaranteed the lowest he would have to serve is 13 years,” Lyons said. “Sentencing range for the judge is 13 years to 43 years, plus the amount of probation the judge deems appropriate.”