Suspect in Virginia school bus abduction held without bond

The man charged with abducting a girl getting off a school bus in Stafford, Virginia, while he was on probation for a 2016 abduction will be held without bond.

Steven Randall Williams, 34, was arraigned via video before Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge Julian Johnson.

Williams is accused of grabbing a 9-year-old girl who was walking from her bus stop last Friday, putting her in the passenger seat and closing the door. When he went around the car to get in the driver’s side, deputies said, the girl opened the door and ran off.

Williams allegedly drove away. He was arrested after barricading himself in his home for five hours.

WTOP first reported Williams was on probation for a 2016 home invasion, in which he tied up a woman and her 10-year-old son, as well as recent drug convictions, on Friday.

On Tuesday, the judge appointed Terrance Patton as Williams’ attorney. Patton represented Williams in his 2016 case. Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen appeared for the state.

Williams was held without bond by a magistrate shortly after his arrest. Since Johnson didn’t address the possibility of Williams being released before trial, the “no bond” status remains, although Patton can file a bond motion.

While the case is beginning in juvenile court, because of the age of the victim, it would end up being heard in adult court.

“Whenever it is alleged that the victim of a criminal offense is a minor, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court has initial jurisdiction over the case,” Olsen told WTOP. “When the charge is a felony, that Court has jurisdiction to hear the preliminary hearing.”

The procedures and protocols in juvenile court can provide more privacy to a young victim in the early stages of an adult’s trial.

If the juvenile court finds probable cause, “the case will be transferred to Circuit Court for indictment and trial,” Olsen said.

Although Williams is currently facing the single abduction count, he will likely face other counts connected to last week’s incident, as well as several charges related to probation violations from his earlier sentences.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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