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Lawyers delay murder trial of teen accused of killing Lucia Bremer

Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 18:16:11-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The trial of a Henrico County teenager charged with murder in the March 2021 shooting death of 13-year-old Lucia Bremer has been delayed.

Prosecution and defense attorneys agreed to delay the trial to allow doctors to conduct a neuropsychological evaulation of Dylan Williams, 15.

CBS 6 does not typically publish the names of children charged with crimes, but made the decision to publish the teenage suspect's name after his case was moved from juvenile court and he was charged as an adult in circuit court.

Williams is accused of shooting and killing Bremer on March 26, 2021.

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One of Williams' attorneys, Kevin Purnell, spoke to CBS 6 after the hearing and said while his client was found competent to stand trial (after initially being found incompetent), he may have suffered head trauma as a child. The attorney said a neuropsychological evaluation could assess what, if any, impact that may have had on his mental condition.

If it is determined that Williams processes things differently than others, it could up open up new avenues for his defense.

Criminal defense attorney Ed Riley, who is not associated with this case, said evaluations such as these are a new tool for handling cases potentially involving mental health issues based on a law that went into effect in 2021.

Previously, defendants were either deemed sane or not.

"Now you have some diminished capacity issues," Riley said. "If you have a mental illness that could have affected you at the time, although you may not be insane, that may have affected the decision-making process that allowed you to commit that offense."

Riley said it could be used to argue a defendant doesn't meet the standards of a certain charge, especially in younger adults whose brains are still developing.

"It's still a little bit of a gray area and how exactly it's going to be utilized," Riley said. "But it should not lead to a 'not guilty' in and of itself. It's still something that the jury would consider. And then they would determine whether there's guilt or innocence."

Bremer was walking with a friend near Godwin High School in March 2021 when police say Williams approached them and shot Bremer.

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Lucia Bremer

The man whose gun was used to kill Bremer, according to Henrico Police, was found not guilty in January 2022. The contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge against the man was dismissed by the court.

Williams, who lived with the 52-year-old man, allegedly used the gun in the March 2021 fatal shooting on Hickoryridge Road, in the Gayton Forest West subdivision, near Godwin High School.

"The basis of this charge was the access of the firearm in the home that was used to kill Lucia Bremer. The matter was heard in the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the Court found that there was insufficient evidence to convict," Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement following that ruling. "The Court also found that by giving a 'safety talk' to a troubled young adolescent about gun safety, such was sufficient instead of simply locking away a lethal weapon in an appropriate manner."

Henrico Police previously said that there was no connection between Bremer and Williams, but that the teenage suspect previously threatened to shoot up a school, according to Taylor.

"I know the Bremers, the family of the victim, share my extreme disappointment and frustration," Taylor's statement concluded.

With the trial now delayed, a status hearing is scheduled for July 12.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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