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UPDATE: Two charged in Sterling murder

Ryan Williams
Ryan B. Williams
Linsey Hardwick
Linsey B. Hardwick

Two people have been charged in connection with the Dec. 27 murder of a Sterling man found shot to death in his car in the area of Great Trail and Trail Run terraces.

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.

Williams and Hardwick remain held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center and are awaiting arraignment on murder charges. Williams was already being held on assault and battery charges stemming from a domestic assault in July 2012 and two criminal capias.’ Hardwick is held on possession of narcotics charges.

“Our detectives have done an outstanding job of pulling this case together and we look forward to working with our Commonwealth Attorney in the prosecution phase of this case,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman in a statement.

Detectives declined to answer further questions about the case, including how the two knew Johnson and why Johnson was targeted.

The questions, according to Liz Mills, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, are investigative in nature and some answers would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

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

Subsequent investigation led detectives to several areas in Virginia and other neighboring states, Mills said.

The two arrested in connection with Johnson's death are no strangers to prison.

Williams has been arrested on a plethora of charges stemming from as far back as 2005, according to Loudoun County court records.

In April 2012 he was charged with petit larceny and sentenced to 30 days suspended. He was arrested again last month for violating probation from prior felonies, including malicious wounding, possession of a controlled substance, possession of schedule III drugs, identity fraud, possession of marijuana and obstruction of justice.

Hardwick was arrested Feb. 12 for possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Both are scheduled to appear in General District Court at 1 p.m. March 28 for a preliminary hearing on the first-degree murder charge.

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

At the time of Johnson's death, Mills said the murder didn't appear to be a random act of violence.

– Staff Writer Alanna Dvorak contributed to this report

The murder of Jovaughn Johnson was originally reported here.


I knew this was a drug deal gone bad as soon as read about it in the paper. Why are people so stupid? You will never get away with a murder in a small county like this where the police have all the time in the world to investigate you.

No doubt a drug deal gone very wrong.  Hopefully there will be closure for the family.  Sad what has become of this area

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