Man indicted on 4 felonies in Virginia school bus abduction of 9-year-old girl

A Virginia man has been indicted on four felony counts after deputies say he grabbed a 9-year-old girl moments after she got off a school bus in January and carried her to his car.

On Tuesday, 35-year-old Steven Randall Williams was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury on charges of abduction with intent to defile, abduction with the intent to extort money, abduction, and taking or detaining a person with the intent to defile.

If convicted, two of the charges carry maximum sentences of up to life in prison.

Williams was originally arrested and charged with a single count — abduction. A juvenile court judge had certified his case last month.

In addition, the Stafford grand jury handed up three additional direct indictments, based on testimony they heard behind closed doors, about the Jan. 28, 2022 incident.

Previously, prosecutors had said after asking the girl for directions, Williams picked her up and carried the girl to the passenger seat of his Buick Regal. When Williams went around the car to get in the driver’s side, the girl opened the door, and ran home.

Williams was arrested the following day, after barricading himself in his home for five hours.

As WTOP first reported, Williams was on probation at the time of the January incident for a 2016 home invasion in which he tied up a woman and her 10-year-old son.

Last month, while his case was still in juvenile court due to the age of the victim, a judge denied a request from Williams’ attorney, Mark Murphy, that Williams be allowed to live at home, with his parents, wearing two electronic monitoring devices until trial.

During the earlier bond hearing, Lori DiGiosia, chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney, bristled at the idea of pretrial release.

“This was a stranger-child abduction of a 9-year-old child — a stranger picked her up and put her in his car,” DiGiosia said. “This is one of the most serious, scary situations in the world — a child being taken.”

Circuit Court Judge Michael Levy said the discovery of zip ties in Williams’ trunk in the current case was “disconcerting, since he was on probation at the time this occurred,” and given previous convictions for kidnapping and robbery.

Before his January arrest, Williams had been arrested five times since his conviction for the 2016 abduction, yet has largely remained out of jail.

On Dec. 18, 2017, Stafford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Sharp sentenced Williams to 35 years, but suspended 33, with two years of active prison time. With time served, Williams was released two weeks later, on Jan. 2, 2018, on indefinite supervision.

On Sept. 9, 2021, he came before Stafford County Circuit Court Judge Victoria A.B. Willis, who sentenced him to 5 years, 10 months and 17 days for drug possession with intent to distribute and suspended 4 years. He received probation for the new felony drug possession count.

Williams’ attorney had argued he was at risk in jail, for testifying against another man who was convicted in the 2016 abduction and home invasion. He had also testified in Spotsylvania County against two defendants in the 2015 murder of 21-year-old Heather Ciccone.

Williams is currently being held without bond.

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.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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