Virginia Beach man sentenced to 10 years in prison for 2014 shooting

Joseph Larry Williams (Photo: Virginia Beach police)
Joseph Larry Williams (Photo: Virginia Beach police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man will serve 10 years in prison Monday for a 2014 shooting.

39-year-old Joseph Larry Williams was sentenced to 18 years with eight years suspended for attempted malicious wounding, use of firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a violent felon.

A jury heard evidence in Williams’ case and had reached a verdict, but Williams pleaded guilty on July 30, before the verdict was announced.

Prosecutors say that in the early morning hours of June 14, 2014, Williams shot at a man in the parking lot of the Econo Lodge on Northampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach. The victim was visiting friends at the hotel and was walking to another hotel room around 5:30 a.m. when a car drove by. Williams was in the passenger seat, then got out of the vehicle and asked the victim if there was a problem. According to prosecutors, the victim didn’t know Williams and didn’t have any issue with him. Williams flashed a gun and the victim walked into a hotel room. A few minutes later, the victim and his friends left the room. Williams again approached the victim and started threatening him. As the victim ran away, Williams fired the gun toward him. The victim wasn’t hurtand did not see Williams again.

Police received calls about the shooting and got a description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene. Williams’ girlfriend was later identified as the driver. Officers followed the vehicle onto I-64 west and they saw Williams, the passenger, throw a gun out of the window. A forensics technician later found it. Williams jumped out of the vehicle when it crashed in Norfolk. Officers found him hiding in a dumpster and he was taken into custody.

Williams has prior convictions for robbery, malicious wounding, illegal gambling, marijuana possession, larceny from a person, resisting arrest, eluding police, assault and conspiracy. He also has multiple traffic violations, probation violations and an extensive juvenile record.