Former Loudoun County Supervisor Shawn M. Williams pleaded guilty in Loudoun District Court this morning to charges of assault and battery and unlawful entry of a neighbor’s home.
The charges stem from a Sept. 6, 2015, early morning alcohol-induced altercation that proved to be life changing.
“I am devastated. I have lost everything that matters to me,” Williams told the judge.
Eight months ago, the 44-year-old, first-term Broad Run District supervisor was campaigning for the Republican nomination for the county chairman’s post—the apparent heir to four-term incumbent Scott K. York. After his arrest, Williams dropped from the race and later resigned his board seat. He lost his job. This month, the house where he lived with his wife, Joy, and their three children went on the market. The couple is getting a divorce.
The incident happened after a day-long Labor Day weekend party in their Broadlands neighborhood. According to witness accounts and evidence presented in court, at some point during the day, Williams heard talk leading him to question whether his wife had been unfaithful. About 1 a.m., Williams sought to confront neighbors about the allegations. He banged on the door of one neighbor, but was not allowed in. He then went to the home of another neighbor.
That man met Williams at the door, and Williams charged into the house, pushing the victim into a wall. The victim was not injured, but Williams was described as angry and using foul and vulgar language. He refused to leave until he was told that deputies were on the way.
In court Wednesday, the victim opposed Williams’ request for a deposition that would allow the convictions to be removed from his record if he continued to demonstrate good behavior and got treatment for alcohol abuse and anger management.
“I still love this man as a brother,” the man said. “It’s almost been mourning the loss of a friend as if he died. It has been brutal.”
However, the victim said it was important that a record of the crimes remain as a deterrent to bad conduct in the future. He said Williams that morning was more out of control than anyone he’s ever seen. He described it as “real human homicidal rage.”
Williams has two previous DUI convictions, in 1992 and 2005, and previously has acknowledged his involvement in a domestic assault that resulted in no criminal charges.
In making an appeal for a deferred finding in the case, allowing the charges to be removed from the record in the future, Williams’ attorney presented a number of letters of support and noted the U.S. Marine Corps veteran is getting counseling, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and continues volunteer work.
Addressing the court, Williams apologized to the neighbors, taking responsibility for his “unacceptable” behavior.
Coming near tears, Williams described the devastating impacts that resulted from the altercation and the publicity that followed—including the loss of his political career, his job, his home and his family.
“That night cost me everything,” he said.
Under the sentence, Williams will pay a fine, but won’t serve additional jail time—he was held overnight following his arrest—as long as he continues with alcohol abuse and anger management counseling and doesn’t break the law. Failing to comply could put him behind bars for up to a year.