Hanover teen pleads guilty to ax attack, Video released

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Surveillance tape provides our first glimpse at what happened the day a Hanover teen was attacked with an ax. This comes as the teenager accused in the case reached a plea agreement Tuesday afternoon.

The ax attack happened inside a tractor supply store in Hanover County back in October. In the video, 16-year-old Omar Abdelaal and his friends are seen entering the hardware store. Moments later a schoolmate, 15-year-old Austin Mayton, and his friends walk in the store.

Prosecutors say Mayton followed Abdelaal and that the two groups had an argument earlier in the day-- then again inside the store. The Lee Davis High School students are face to face in the video. Abdelaal is then seen walking away from the group. He comes back with an ax and hits Mayton in the face. Mayton's hands are at his side when he's hit.

"We just hope nobody else has to go through this. Austin will continue to go through this for the rest of his life," said Mayton's mother, Patricia Mattox.

The crime left Mayton with more than a hundred stitches on his cheek. Johnathan Kusterer was in the store that day with his friend, Abdelaal.

"I felt very scared, more than I've ever felt in my entire life. I honestly thought instead of Austin being hurt, I thought it would be one of us," said Kusterer.

Abdelaal's attorney says his client was provoked by the victim and that for years Mayton bullied and threatened Abdelaal -- including the day of the attack.

"We try to see him as much as we can to make him feel better and to comfort him it's a rough time," said Abdelaal's father, Khaled Abdelaal.

In court, Abdelaal pled guilty to malicious wounding -- a lesser charge under a plea agreement. He'll spend a minimum of two years at a juvenile correction facility plus he'll be on probation for 20 years. Both sides say they're ready to move on.

"We're done. We're glad it's over. Austin's going to heal and I hope the community heals," said Mattox.

In two years Abdelaal will be eligible to be released from custody -- a judge will make that decision based on Abdelaal's behavior.

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