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Hearing continued for two charged in Sterling murder

Sterling, murder
Ryan B. Williams


Sterling, murder
Linsey B. Hardwick


A preliminary hearing for two people charged in connection with the Dec. 27 murder of a Sterling man was continued today in Loudoun County General District Court.

Ryan B. Williams, 32, formerly of Loudoun County, and Linsey B. Hardwick, 23, of Leesburg, were charged Feb. 12 with first-degree murder for the death of Jovaughn Johnson.

Their new preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. April 24.

Williams and Hardwick are being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

At the time of his arrest, Williams was already being held there on assault and battery charges stemming from a domestic assault in July 2012 and two criminal capias.’ Hardwick is also held on possession of narcotics charges.

Johnson, 30, was found dead in his car about 7 p.m. Dec. 27 as deputies responded to a call from someone who asked that they check the community's welfare.

Subsequent investigations led detectives to several areas in Virginia and other neighboring states, according to Liz Mills, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.
At the time of the arrests, detectives declined to answer further questions about the case, including how the two knew Johnson and why Johnson was targeted.

The questions, according Mills, were investigative in nature and some answers would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

Additional arrests in connection with the murder are expected in the future, Mills said.

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