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July 14, 2021

Jury begins its deliberations in teenager’s 2019 murder

Lincoln L. Williams Jr. died of a fatal gunshot to the head Aug. 26, 2021.
Daniel M. Farmer, 25, of Nokesville, admits he planned the robbery but not the murder.
Murder Trial
• Case: Aug. 26 murder of Lincoln Lamar Williams Jr., 18. Mr. Williams got shot in the face outside of his home at 5042 Old Auburn Mill Road, about five miles east of Warrenton. He died later that night in Fauquier Hospital.

• Defendant: Daniel Martin Farmer, 25, of Nokesville.

• Charges: First-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

• Jury trial: July 12-14 in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

• Prosecutors: Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Abigail J. Owens and Amy Cassandra.

• Defense attorney: Robert V. Bryan Jr. of Fairfax.

• Judge: James P. Fisher

• Jury: Seven men and five women began deliberations just before noon Wednesday.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Editor
Just before noon Wednesday, the jury began deliberations about whether to find a Nokesville man guilty of first-degree murder in the August 2019 fatal shooting of a Warrenton teenager.

Daniel Martin Farmer II, 25, admitted he planned the robbery of 18-year-old cocaine dealer Lincoln Williams Jr.

But, defense attorney Robert V. Bryan Jr. argued that Mr. Farmer tried to abandon that plan the night of Aug. 26 two years ago.

Mr. Farmer drove Myi’son I. Ellis, convicted last year for firing the fatal shot, from Nokesville toward the victim’s home on Old Auburn Road east of Warrenton.

But, Mr. Farmer stopped short, and another accomplice drove the killer to the Williams family home after 10 o’clock that night.

Mr. Bryan argued that his client operated “under duress” and faced potential death when he tried to call off the robbery. On Tuesday, Mr. Farmer testified that Mr. Ellis fired a handgun twice out the window of the vehicle and then put the gun’s barrel near his temple.

Still, the killer got out of Mr. Farmer’s car and into another driven by Lucretia Robinson.

Mr. Farmer, however, led them to the Williams house, where he had set up a cocaine purchase from the teenager.

When the victim returned from a quick trip to Walmart, Mr. Ellis “ambushed” and fatally shot him in the head.

According to the prosecution, Mr. Farmer — also a cocaine dealer — planned the robbery because he believed Mr. Williams had cheated him in a previous drug purchase.

Mr. Farmer recruited the killer, who did not know Mr. Williams, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Abigail J. Owens told the jury in her closing argument Wednesday morning.

“He knows he’s to blame for Lincoln’s death . . . and without him, none of this would have happened,” Ms. Owens said of Mr. Farmer.

The defendant’s internet searches — about crime in Fauquier — the next morning also demonstrate his responsibility for the murder, the prosecutor said.

But, Mr. Bryan argued that “until Myi’son Ellis pulled it out (in the car with his client), there was not a plan to use a gun (in the robbery). Myi’son Ellis operated independently.”

The defense attorney said: “That moment is so important, because from that moment on, there was no conspiracy.”

Ms. Owens disagreed, saying Mr. Farmer planned the events that resulted in the murder, led the killer to the Williams home, tried to establish an alibi and then repeatedly lied to law enforcement officers during the investigation.

“Six, seven, eight . . . he has told a lot of different stories,” the prosecutor said.

The jury of seven men and five women heard a day and a half of testimony, starting Monday afternoon with the victim’s parents, Crystal and Lincoln Williams Sr.

They described their son, covered in blood, stumbling into the house after the attack.

Mr. Williams testified that he repeatedly asked his son who attacked him.

Before losing consciousness, the teenager held up two fingers and said, “Rudeboy,” Mr. Farmer’s nickname, the father testified.

Mr. Williams said the shirtless defendant — whom he immediately distrusted — came to the family home 12 days before the killing.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Mr. Farmer faces a potential life sentence in prison. The jury also will consider whether to find him guilty on three other felony charges.

A jury last year found Mr. Ellis guilty of the fatal shooting and sentenced him to 51 years in prison.

Originally charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, Ms. Robinson last year pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, accessory to a homicide, and received a five-year prison sentence with 38 months suspended.

Mr. Farmer’s defense attorney also argued that the prosecution could have called both co-conspirators as witnesses this week to challenge his client’s testimony.

“So, I would submit we have to accept his testimony as fact,” Mr. Bryan told the jury.

Contact Editor “Lou” Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.
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