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Teen who killed Lucia Bremer is sociopath with high risk to re-offend, neuropsychologist testifies

Lucia's brother: 'It felt like my soul was ripped out of me. Every bone in my body tried to come out of my body.'
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Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 14, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- When Jamie Tyson's 11-year-old daughter bravely slapped a gun from the hands of Dylan Williams on March 26, 2021, in the garage of her parent's home, she was able to escape, but her best friend, Lucia Bremer did not.

Williams shot Lucia, who was 13-years-old, nine times before leaving her to die.

"She felt a little guilty, a lot guilty," Tyson said of his daughter before starting to break down in tears.

Tyson said he told her "there was nothing you could do. You were armed with soccer balls and Gatorade."

Williams, who was 14 at the time, was armed with a gun that belonged to his legal guardian, Richard Pierce.

Williams started having "a desire to kill someone" a year prior, according to Dr. Salmaan Khawaja, the Director of Neuropsychology at Bon Secours Mercy Health.

Khawaja and Tyson testified at Williams' sentencing hearing for Bremer's murder on Friday in Henrico Circuit Court.

During Khawaja's neuropsych evaluation of Williams, the now-16-year-old told him there was nothing significant about the day he chose to kill Lucia.

Instead, it was just the day he decided to do it.

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Lucia Bremer memorial
Memorials honor slain Quioccasin Middle School student Lucia Bremer in Henrico County, Va.

Williams headed over to Mills Godwin High School and watched people to decide who he would shoot.

He chose Lucia and her best-friend who were at the school practicing soccer, and helping a nine-year-old friend learn how to play.

The younger girl's mother was there and saw Williams at the school that day.

"I felt something wasn't right as Lucia and her friend walked away that day," Anne Coward said. "I've had a lot of guilt about that."

Williams told Khawaja he "felt high as they were walking home" through the Gayton Forest neighborhood, and "felt happy that he made up his mind to do it."

He said he "was excited they knew he was there."

After committing the murder, Williams said it "felt good" to shoot her.

"He wanted to put enough bullets in her to ensure she was killed," Dr. Khawaja said.

When Jamie Tyson's daughter came racing into his house screaming "he has a gun, Lucia is out there" that warm March afternoon, Tyson and another neighbor risked their own lives by going into the garage and starting CPR on Lucia.

"They are heroes to me, and I hope they can find peace," Jonathan Bremer, Lucia's father, said.

RELATED: The touching way neighbors are honoring slain Quioccasin student Lucia Bremer

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Memorials honors slain Quioccasin Middle School student Lucia Bremer.

Jonathan received a call that his daughter had been shot, and immediately called his wife, Meredith, who was home with their two sons.

Meredith and the two boys raced over to the Tyson's house, where they saw Lucia's body on the ground.

They learned she had died at the hospital.

"It felt like my soul was ripped out of me. Every bone in my body tried to come out of my body," Lucia's older brother, William, said.

That shock turned to grief for the Bremer family.

Meredith said she still sometimes accidentally sets out 5 plates at the table, or searches for her daughter's favorite yogurt at the grocery store.

When the family got Lucia's belongings back from that day, her father found a recording of her singing a line from Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time."

Jonathan sang that line in court: "If you're lost you can look and you will find me, time after time"

A message from Lucia, he thought.

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So what led Williams to kill?

Dr. Khawaja said his comprehensive neuropsych evaluation determined Williams has "antisocial personality disorder," which is sometimes referred to as sociopathy.

Clinicians who had seen Williams over the years had speculated that he might have autism, PTSD from seeing his mother die from an asthma attack, or brain damage from possibly being dropped out of a 2nd story window as a child.

But, Khawaja said Williams had no signs of autism, of a mood disorder, PTSD, or brain damage.

Dr. Khawaja said there is no FDA approved treatment for antisocial personality disorder, and Williams shows low motivation to change.

He said it remains unclear what causes the disorder — whether it's something genetic that he inherited, or whether it's something that comes about from your environment and the way you are raised.

Regardless, the doctor opined that Williams' risk for recidivism is high.

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William's lawyers, Kevin Purnell and Russ Stone, said they disagreed with that diagnosis, and believe there is a chance for rehabilitation for Williams because he is still a kid.

Purnell told the judge Williams lost his father at a young age during a stabbing, and he watched his mother die in November of 2018.

After that he went to live with Pierce, who became his legal guardian, but who was not a biological relative.

Since then, Purnell said Williams had not seen any members of his extended family.

Several members of that extended family showed up in court on Friday.

Four of them wrote letters in support of Williams, and his uncle, Nathan Plumber, spoke as a defense witness.

Plumber said his brother was Williams' father, and he just recently learned of Williams' situation.

He said Williams' mother used to bring him around to see him and other family members, but after she did they were unable to find Williams.

"I am here to understand why did my nephew do what he did. I didn't want to come, but God led me here," Plumber said.

He clarified that it was Wiliams' father that fell out of a second story window as a young child, and not Williams.

Plumber apologized to Lucia's family.

"I would say I am sorry for what he did. I just don't get it. I want my nephew to know I should have intervened when he lost his mom and dad and teach him the right thing to do. I kinda fault myself," Plumber said.

Just before sentencing, Judge Richard Wallerstein asked Williams if he had anything he wanted to say.

Williams apologized to Lucia's family and said "I know what I did was wrong. If I had the chance to take my life instead I would, but I'm not God so I can't do that."

Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor said that was the first time Williams had ever expressed remorse, and it was hard to tell if it was a genuine apology or a sign of his antisocial personality disorder.

Judge Wallerstein called the case an "unspeakable tragedy" before sentencing Dylan Williams to 60 years behind bars, which is what the Commonwealth Attorney requested.

Williams will stay in a juvenile justice facility until he's 21, and then he will transfer to the Department of Corrections.

Stay with WTVR.com and watch CBS 6 News for more on this develiping story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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