A trial date has been set in the case of a Wilmington man charged with an assault on a teenage girl that caused serious brain damage.
Michael John Hutton, 19, is scheduled for trial Oct. 26 on charges of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, first-degree kidnapping, assault by strangulation and assault on a female.
Hutton’s trial date was scheduled during a hearing Monday in New Hanover County Superior Court. According to Assistant District Attorney Lillian Salcines Bright, the State has handed over more than 2,000 pages of medical records documenting the victim’s injuries to the defense.
Hutton was originally charged with assault on a female and assault inflicting serious bodily injury for an incident that was reported May 23, 2014. He was released the same day on a $6,000 bond, but was arrested after additional charges–including attempted first-degree murder–were filed in New Hanover County court.
Hutton was indicted on the charges on May 28, 2014, according to court records.
The female victim in the case–who was 17 years old at the time of the incident–was placed in critical condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries from the alleged assault.
According to warrants, Hutton is accused of striking the victim with a closed fist repeatedly in the head and assaulting her numerous other times by striking her in the head, which caused brain swelling that required surgery and sedation.
Warrants state the assault caused the victim “serious internal damage to the brain.” According to a spokeswoman for New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the victim has since been released from the hospital.
“She has not fully recovered, nor will she ever,” Wilmington Police Department Cpl. M.G. Beguhl said. Beguhle said the victim has healed some, but still suffers from “a permanent brain injury.”
Medical records from the victim’s examination are still under defense review, attorney Miriam Mason Thompson said. The defense has filed a motion for an independent examination of the victim in the case, but may withdraw the motion after reviewing the victim’s initial medical examination, Thompson said.
Pending the motion, the State is requesting a court order for the defense to provide images of the victim that are on Hutton’s cell phone.
“On the cell phone there are images of the State’s witness in this case and…those might become relevant to the defense in the trial of this case. And so, the State is asking the court to order that the defense attorney turn those over to the State, so that we have an opportunity to prepare our file with that potential evidence,” Salcines Bright said.
The motions could be heard in New Hanover County Superior Court later this week.
Hutton is being held at the New Hanover County jail under a $1,010,000 secured bond.