Man Pleads Guilty to Taking LSD in Williamsburg Hotel with Friends is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Benjamin Conner Jr. (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Benjamin Conner Jr. (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Update: The felony possession charge against Benjamin Conner Jr. was dismissed April 20, 2016.

Original Story: A 19-year-old man visiting his hometown of Williamsburg from his new home in Michigan brought LSD for him and his three friends to try.

The four friends — 19-year-old Benjamin Bond West, 18-year-old Abbie Layne Neilson, a 17-year-old boy whose name cannot be released and Benjamin Conner Jr., who supplied the schedule I drug — ingested the drug July 31 and had a “bad trip” at the Super 8 hotel, Williamsburg-James City County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green said Monday.

Williamsburg Police officers found them in and around the hotel on Lafayette Street displaying symptoms consistent with LSD: hallucinations, sweating, trembling, incoherent speech and a high pulse.

Conner, the supplier of the drug, pleaded guilty Monday to possession of a schedule I substance.

Because this is his first criminal offense, Conner qualified for the Virginia first offender program, which calls for him to complete 100 hours of community service, be on probation for one year and be subject to drug tests.

If he completes those requirements successfully and does not break the law for one year, the felony charge against him will be dismissed.

During a motions hearing for West last week, a Williamsburg Police officer testified he responded to a call for indecent exposure at around 12:20 a.m. and found a 17-year-old boy running down the street naked and screaming.

The officer wrapped the boy, who was sweating profusely, in a blanket and helped him into the back of his police car.

Meanwhile, Conner was screaming from the second floor balcony, according to the officer’s testimony.

Abbie Neilson (left) and Benjamin West (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Abbie Neilson (left) and Benjamin West (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

Conner was yelling “there are cops for real life” repeatedly, the officer said. At this point, more officers arrived on the scene, and Conner was eventually taken into custody after lunging at officers, Maj. Greg Riley of the Williamsburg Police Department said the day after the incident occurred.

A third man, later identified as West, was found curled up behind a soda vending machine on the third floor of the hotel. He was rambling incoherently and sweating profusely, another Williamsburg Police officer testified.

Neilson, who police said was being chased by Conner and the 17-year-old boy before officers arrived, eventually returned to the hotel room and told police she had taken LSD.

The four were taken to Riverside Doctors’ Hospital for treatment, and then the three adults were taken to Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail while the 17-year-old was released to his parents.

Neilson’s possession of a schedule I charge was amended to misdemeanor distributing to the delinquency of a minor in November, with a second possession of a controlled substance charge dropped in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.

As long as she follows the law until November of this year, her misdemeanor charge will be dismissed.

A trial date for West, who faces one felony count of possession of a schedule I drug and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, has not yet been scheduled.

Green said a judge agreed to withhold a sentencing on the 17-year-old boy with the expectation that the possession charge be dismissed in a year if the boy does not violate the law.

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