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Posted June 4, 2012 | comments 10 Comments

Front Royal girl gets probation for flashlight beating

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A 17-year-old Front Royal girl was sentenced Monday in Warren County Circuit Court to an indefinite period of probation lasting no longer than her 21st birthday on a charge of malicious wounding in the beating of another teenage female with a flashlight.

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp told Paige Elizabeth Williams that she must earn her high school diploma in the next few months as a condition of her probation. Williams has been taking courses in the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester since her arrest last fall.

Her attorney, David Downes, said he will meet with Warren County Public Schools' officials to determine how many credits Williams will receive for courses studied during her incarceration.

Williams was convicted and sentenced as a juvenile under a plea agreement she entered in the case. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Layton said it's unusual for a circuit court to convict and sentence a defendant as a juvenile.

Williams' case was transferred from juvenile and domestic relations to circuit court last fall where she was charged as an adult.

She was accused of beating another teenager with a Maglite flashlight in an attack that left the victim with a broken nose, broken cheekbone and cuts requiring 16 to 18 stitches in the front and back of the head.

If convicted as an adult, the defendant would have faced a sentence of five to 20 years.

The attack came at an outdoor birthday party held for Williams along a riverbank on Sept. 4. The prosecution and defense both mentioned that a series of threatening and bullying messages between Paige Elizabeth Williams and the victim, Catherine Williams, preceded the attack by several days. Layton said the two are not related. He said Catherine Williams was 18 at the time of the attack.

Williams told Hupp before her sentencing that she was determined to not repeat the behavior that landed her in court. Moments before, Hupp said he had received a pre-sentence report indicating her behavior "deteriorated" recently in the juvenile detention center.

"I need to go home," Williams told Hupp. "I honestly feel like I'm ready to go home."

Williams added that she wanted a chance "to go out and prove" she had learned important lessons from her incarceration, lessons she would use to better herself and make a contribution to the community.

"You certainly are bright, and your grades reflect that," Hupp told her in a reference to her strong academic progress while in jail.

"But you also need an attitude adjustment," Hupp added.

Hupp told her that reports that she had been recently disrespectful toward jail staff "concern me greatly" and warned her "there'll be serious consequences" if she continued to show the same behavior toward those supervising her probation under the state Department of Juvenile Justice.

10 Comments | Leave a comment

    What will she have learned? That you can beat someone with a flashlight and only get time served. Pathetic.

    I'm surprised, or maybe I'm not, that she would be released if she is having difficulties in the detention center. I hate to be so negative towards her but I suspect she will be out and exhibiting the same behavior that landed her in jail to begin with. When are we going to teach kids that you must accept responsibility for your actions?

    I agree, she will learn nothing and will be back in front of the judge again.

    How was she not charged with ADW? (assault with a deadly weapon)


    Hupp has to be the most lenient judge in Va... Pretty much every article I've ever read, where he is the presiding judge, the offender gets off so easy. I keep saying, that this country's judicial system is t protect the criminals.
    Beating someone with a Maglite is brutal! Those things are solid and very heavy. She could have done so much worse to the victim with that flashlight, and all she was given was probation? Even after having trouble with the staff? If she is so easy to disrespect that authority, what makes him think she won't be like that to people with no authority?
    She should have earned more jail time, so she could REALLY learn something. She also she be required to get counseling, anger management, and to volunteer and serve the community. Hopefully, she is responsible for paying Catherine's medical bills.

    This was not just some accident.

    The victim is lucky she is not dead.

    Williams used a 'blunt object' with the intent to maim, injure, or kill. And gets a slap on the wrist.

    Hupp has done little to deter the 'bully' culture of our society.

    Who will be her next victim?

    This girl need more than an "attitude adjustment". So Paige Williams must earn her high school diploma. Wow! That will make her think twice about losing control next time.

    Once again another teen fails to receive punishment for their criminal conduct and has learned nothing. Williams has dictated to the court what she will and won't do. Send her home? Indeed!

    I agree this is a travesty of justice. If the battered child were my daughter, I would be outraged and seeking justice.

    Paige Williams NEEDS more than an "attitude adjustment", I meant to say.


    My question is, why was the other girl "Catherine Williams" at the party to begin with since the two did not get along. Also, both of them were sending terrible, bullying messages days prior to the fight. I think that Paige Elizabeth Williams should have received a harsher punishment for having a flashlight n using it as a weapon but I also think that Catherine Williams should also receive some type of reprimand as well for participating in the bullying of messages n showing up at a birthday party that was not hers to begin with. They both helped in the instigation of an altercation that was inevitable to happen. So, to each their own both should be punished for acting like they can do whatever they want and get away with it more or less.....

    What message does this send to Paige other than if you assault someone that all you will get is probation. Did the judge even take into consideration all the trouble she had gotten into before this incident or that she was causing trouble at the detention center? I think she should have received the maximum sentence.

    The only true justice in the case will come when the victim files a civil suit against her attacker.

    Once this violent criminal has to have her wages garnished to pay for her actions, she'll really learn that actions have consequences.

    Parents...it's cheaper to raise decent kids than to pay legal fees.

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