Assault charge certified against suspect in "Toots" attack - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Assault charge certified against suspect in "Toots" attack

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Grammy-nominated reggae artist "Toots" Hibbert was back in Richmond Friday - not for a concert, but for a court hearing. This comes after he was hit in the head with a liquor bottle while performing on Brown's Island last month.    

William Lewis, the 19-year-old accused in the incident, appeared in court Friday for the two charges.

His case will now be moved across the river to be heard by a grand jury. Toots didn't have much to say while he was here. We're told he just came to observe the process.

When asked how the 70-year-old reggae star was doing he replied, "I'm doing the best I can. That's all I can say."

William Lewis quietly walked into court with his family. At the hearing, prosecutors sent the malicious wounding charge to the grand jury and withdrew the drunk in public charge.

"My client is devastated," Lewis' attorney Chris Collins said when asked about the 19-year-old's frame of mind.  Lewis is accused of chucking a glass liquor bottle at the stage where Toots and The Maytals were performing for Dominion Riverrock on May 18.

"Very remorseful, it's already causing him problems at school and devastated is the word that comes to mind with this kid," Collins added.

The repercussions of that day continue for Toots, as well. The 70-year-old flew in from Jamaica for the hearing, but his attorney says he's still under observation and undergoing treatment.

"A serious blow to the health, a gentleman that age is a serious situation, I can tell you it is not resolved at this point," Michael Shapiro said.

Toots canceled the rest of his tour after being struck in the head. Shapiro maintains so far, there's been no discussion of a civil suit.

"We're not pointing any fingers," he added. "We just want to be respectful. There's a process here."

The grand jury meets on July 1 to consider indictments. If convicted, Lewis faces up to 20 years in prison for the malicious wounding charge.

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