By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A 17-year-old girl pleaded guilty in Front Royal Monday to the malicious wounding of another teenage girl in an attack with a Maglite flashlight that left the victim severely injured.
Paige Elizabeth Williams, 17, of 355 W. 11th St., Front Royal, was returned to the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester to await sentencing in Circuit Court on June 4.
Williams will be sentenced as a juvenile under the plea agreement accepted by Judge Dennis L. Hupp. The case was transferred to adult Circuit Court from Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court last year following her arrest.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Layton accused Williams of leaving the victim with a broken nose, broken cheekbone and cuts requiring 16 to 18 stitches to the front and back of the head. Layton said Williams used a flashlight to hit the victim during the attack.
The incident occurred along a riverbank at an outdoor birthday party held for Williams on Sept. 4.
The prosecution and defense agreed that the attack was preceded by back and forth threats and bullying messages between Williams and the victim.
Under juvenile sentencing, Williams could not be incarcerated past her 21st birthday and may be released much sooner than that, if deemed appropriate, by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. If sentenced as an adult, Williams would have faced a sentence of five to 20 years in prison.
Layton said he spoke to the victim and her family, and they supported the plea agreement.
David Downes, Williams' attorney, called the plea "a good result for everyone involved." He declined further comment.
The case is Williams' only conviction for a violent offense, but she has appeared in juvenile court cases after being accused of disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol, hit and run, driving without a valid operator's license and reckless driving.