FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 13, 2014
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
JUDGE IMPOSES JURY SENTENCE
WILLIAMS TO SERVE LIFE, PLUS THREE YEARS
LEESBURG, Virginia – November 10, 2014. Ryan Blaine Williams, 33, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, in custody, for sentencing on one count of first degree murder and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Judge Thomas D. Horne affirmed the jury verdict, sentencing Williams to life plus three years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. “Given the sheer brutality of this crime I see no reason not to impose the jury’s recommendation,” said Horne.
Members of the victim’s family testifying at today’s hearing recalled how Jovaughn could always make them laugh and how their lives will never be the same without him. Johnson’s mother implored the Court to impose the jury’s sentence. “My son is gone and there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Mary Marvin. “At this point, we have to protect society from this man,” Marvin continued.
Under Virginia law a Judge may suspend any portion of a jury sentence by providing written justification therefore. One exception to this is the three-year sentence imposed for the firearm offense, which is a mandatory minimum sentence under Virginia Code, and therefore cannot be suspended in whole or in part by the Court.
During the course of the five day jury trial, which concluded in June 2014, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Alejandra Rueda and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Rosen presented evidence that in the afternoon hours of December 27, 2012, Williams entered Jovaughn Johnson’s parked vehicle in a residential area of Sterling, shooting him five times. Johnson’s body remained in the vehicle for several hours before being discovered by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies.
Post-trial motions filed by the defense alleging prosecutor and law-enforcement misconduct, as well as asserting that trial testimony was now being recanted by a jailhouse informant, were summarily dismissed last week. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge determined that there was no evidence or information that would support such an allegation. The Judge further found that, even absent the testimony of the informant, there was sufficient evidence to convict Williams.
“This was a significant victory for the community as an extremely dangerous individual will remain behind bars indefinitely,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “Further, the defense team’s baseless personal attacks on the Detective and the Prosecutors, challenging their honesty and integrity, proved to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to smear dedicated public servants in order to free a convicted murderer,” continued Plowman.
The prior news release for this case can be viewed at www.loudoun.gov/oca or www.facebook.com/LoudounOCA.