A Fairfax County judge yesterday ordered James Q. Stevens held for trial on nine counts of abduction and one firearm charge for his role in the November siege at Lake Braddock Secondary School.

Stevens, 18, whom doctors at a Virginia mental hospital have said is competent to stand trial, is accused of holding nine people hostage during a 21-hour ordeal at the county's largest school.

The teen-ager has yet to enter a plea on the 10 charges stemming from the incident.

The charges will be presented to a grand jury Dec. 20.

Stevens was handcuffed and returned to the county jail yesterday after a preliminary hearing before General District Court Judge Frank Perry that lasted more than two hours.

Stevens' attorneys have not requested that he be released from jail "for his own well-being," said lawyer Guy Farley. "He needs to sort things out." Farley said Stevens is undergoing counseling in jail.

The former Lake Braddock student sat with his head buried in his hands throughout most of the hearing in which two of the hostages and a witness recounted the siege that ended peacefully Nov. 11 with Stevens' surrender to police.

Stevens had barged into the school armed with a hunting rifle the previous afternoon demanding to see his girlfriend, Rebecca Golas, who reportedly had turned down his marriage proposals and broken off their relationship the night before. Golas, along with more than a dozen other friends and family members, watched yesterday's proceedings.

"He Stevens leveled the rifle at me," said John G. Cockey, a school official who was summoned to the office early in the incident. "He told me, 'I'm not kidding, I'm going to blow your f------ brains out.' "

Defense attorneys attempted to portray Stevens as an angry, confused youth who found himself in a situation from which he couldn't escape.

Attorneys also tried to show that Stevens feared that police would shoot him if he tried to walk away from the incident.

A preliminary trial date was set for Jan. 4, but prosecutor Britt Richardson said the Commonwealth Attorney's office will request an early February trial to allow more time to develop its case.