July 25, 2002
Before accepting four guilty pleas July 15, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Smith made sure that Nyquie Renee Hall knew what a severe sentence she could receive.
"Do you understand that the maximum penalty you could be facing is three life terms and 20 years [in prison]?" he asked the Fair Oaks teen. "Yes," she replied.
Hall, 18, of Alder Woods Drive, pleaded guilty to the Feb. 21 carjacking, abduction, robbery and malicious wounding of a Reston woman. In a separate case, an accomplice — a 17-year-old Reston girl — has also pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Smith made sure Hall understood that each charge is a felony and that her attorney and the prosecution have made no agreement regarding her sentencing. She could receive life imprisonment for each of her abduction, carjacking and robbery convictions, plus two decades more for malicious wounding.
"Are you entering these pleas of guilt, freely and voluntarily ... and because you are, indeed, guilty?" asked Smith. "Yes," answered Hall. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney John Murphy then detailed the case against her.
He said Hall and the juvenile are friends and, on Feb. 21, Hall had her boyfriend drop her off at Michael's craft store in Reston, where her friend worked. The victim, 28, was the closing manager, and both teens asked her for a ride home. She agreed but, en route, they asked her to take them, instead, to the Dulles Hyatt Hotel, in Herndon, for a party.
When they reached the parking lot, the victim exited the car to let Hall out of the back seat. Once Hall got out, said Murphy, she "struck [the victim] in the head with a crescent wrench. [The victim] tried to fight, but she was bleeding profusely."
He said the juvenile taped the woman's hands with blue, framing tape, and the teens tried stuffing her into the car's trunk, but she wouldn't fit, so they put her in the back seat. The juvenile — whom The Connection is not identifying because she's a minor — then "put an X-acto knife to [the victim's] throat and asked for the store keys and safe combination."
The woman complied; they also robbed her. Terrified, she pleaded for her life. Said Murphy: "[The juvenile] said, 'The only reason I'm not killing you is because Nyquie told me not to.'" Then, after driving awhile, they stopped on Logmill Road in Haymarket and pushed the victim out of the car and toward the woods, and she ran away.
She eventually flagged down a passing car, called the police and said her abductors planned to burglarize Michael's on Plaza America Drive in Reston. Police drove there, that night, and when the teens arrived in the woman's car, they were arrested.
"Hall had the victim's license in her back pocket when she was arrested," said Murphy. "And as the charges were being read, [the juvenile] said Hall hit [the woman] on the head." The victim was treated at a hospital for a head laceration.
Police charged each teen with carjacking, abduction, robbery and malicious wounding. The 17-year-old was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center, and Hall was held without bond at the Adult Detention Center. The grand jury indicted Hall on April 15 and, Monday, the judge found her guilty as charged. Her sentencing is Oct. 18.