CRIME

Steven Vondell Williams pleads guilty in Hae Soon Lim murder

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The man who was suspected of shooting and killing the owner of an H Street NE deli owner pleaded guilty Friday.

Steven Vondell Williams, 46, was arrested last Nov. 28 for the murder of Hae Soon Lim inside the Grace Deli last summer.

Lim, a 64-year-old Rockville resident, was shot in the neck at about 6:30 a.m. June 14 as she was opening her store. Williams will be sentenced on June 17, and under his plea agreement, prosecutors will ask for no more than 28 years in prison.

“We obviously would like to see the maximum possible sentence, but at the same time, to keep reopening these wounds had we gone to trial and continued to have to relive that day, would have been extremely difficult. This would have been easier for us to kind of move forward,” says her son, Peter Lim.

The woman who went by the name "June" to her friends and family was a mother of two and had a grandchild on the way.

MPD detectives said at the time of his arrest that Williams' DNA was found on a gun holster at the scene of the shooting. It was also found in multiple places around the deli, including on the cash register and behind the counter.

As Peter walked near the courthouse with his wife Friday, he wore the same black ribbon he wore to his mother's memorial service. 

"Why did he have to kill her?" he asks.

Lim has been remembered as a kind woman who treated her customers as family.

"Her remembering people's orders, knowing what they loved and how they wanted it, was her way of showing that she cared for them," Peter said in June. 

His mother's death also affected the family financially. 

"My father lost his home, my mother's business," he says. "We had to walk away from no profit."

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