Kiara L. Williams

RICHMOND – Kiara L. Williams will serve 19 years in prison after being convicted today of fatally shooting a man who had pulled his car alongside hers on German School Road in South Richmond last Aug. 7.

Williams, 25, was originally charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony for the death of Samuel “Lee” Washington.

But six days before she was to go to trial in Richmond Circuit Court, she went before Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. this afternoon and entered Alford pleas to one count each of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony. An Alford plea means a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence in the case to convict them.

Hughes accepted Williams’ pleas, found her guilty on both charges and, according to the terms of a plea deal with prosecutor Elizabeth A. Hobbs, imposed prison sentences of 40 years on the murder charge, with 24 years suspended, and three years for the firearms charge.

In summarizing the evidence against Williams, Hobbs said that on the day of the murder, Williams was driving around with her girlfriend in a Toyota Camry when they were approached from behind by a car driven by Washington.

Hobbs said Washington knew Williams’ girlfriend and pulled up along the driver’s side of the Toyota and offered friendly greetings to Williams’ girlfriend. At that point, Hobbs said, Williams pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and fired five shots into Washington’s car, striking him three times.

One of the bullets struck Washington’s spinal cord, paralyzing him and allowing his car to crash into the side of a building. He was declared dead at the scene.

In the hours that followed the murder, Hobbs said, Williams continued to drive around with her girlfriend and at one point pulled over along eastbound Interstate 64 in eastern Henrico County and tried to put the gun in her girlfriend’s mouth and shoot her. The girlfriend escaped from the vehicle and Williams fired several shots at her as she fled, Hobbs said; the girlfriend was not struck by any of the bullets.

Williams was arrested the next morning at her mother’s house in the 200 block of Labrook Drive in South Richmond, where she held officers at bay for about four hours before surrendering just before dawn.

Hobbs said that at some point between the time the girlfriend fled from the car on I-64 and Williams’ arrest, Williams called her girlfriend’s cell phone and left an angry voicemail message “regretting missing the opportunity to kill her and promising she would see her in hell.”

Prosecutors in Henrico filed attempted murder and firearms charges against Williams but have elected against pursuing them.

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