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HILLSVILLE — A Woodlawn man charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder avoided a two-day jury trial in Carroll County Circuit Court by pleading guilty to six felonies on Friday.
Richard Austin Williams faced two counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of attempted carjacking, one count of using a firearm while attempting to commit a carjacking, two counts of using a firearm while attempting to commit murder and two counts of abduction by force and intimidation.
The charges stem from a Jan. 9, 2012, incident. Williams went to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment of gunshot wounds after brothers Terry and David Myers foiled the defendant's attempt to steal a Chevy Impala that was for sale, according to testimony at Williams’ preliminary hearing.
David Myers testified that he shot Williams after a struggle that occurred when Williams pulled a gun on the brothers.
Terry Myers put his car up for sale and parked it in the lot at Dawn Auction Company with a sign that had his cell phone number on it.
On Jan. 9, Myers received a call that went to voice mail, from a man claiming to be "Michael Wilson," who said he was interested in buying the Impala.
A two-day trial was set for Monday and Tuesday, but on Aug. 9, Williams appeared in Carroll Circuit Court to enter a “no contest” plea to the two counts of attempted murder, the three firearm charges and the carjacking charges.
A “no contest” plea means the accused acknowledges that the prosecution had enough evidence to obtain a conviction.
Williams accepted responsibility for these original charges, according to Carroll Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Lyons.
The abduction charges and one count of use of a firearm were dropped, but the prosecution offered no deal to Williams.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 9.
Williams could be sentenced to between 13 and 43 years in prison, according to state sentencing guidelines.