RICHMOND (WRIC)—William Lewis, of Henrico, pleaded guilty Thursday to throwing a vodka bottle at reggae star Frederick "Toots" Hibbert at a concert back in May.
The judge sentenced Lewis to 12 months in jail, with 6 months suspended. He was initially charged with felony malicious wounding, but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. Lewis, who was 19 at the time of the incident, apologized for his actions in court on Dec. 12.
Hibbert, frontman of Toots and the Maytals, says his career has suffered as a result of being struck on the head by the bottle. After being treated at the hospital in the spring, he claims he had to cancel a number of performances, and is still unable to compose and perform songs.
Hibbert filed a $21 million lawsuit against Lewis and a $20 million lawsuit against Venture Richmond and Sports Backers.
Hibbert was not in court. His lawyer says the singer is not medically fit to make the flight from his home in Jamaica.
A letter written by Hibbert was read in court where he says "in spite of this, it is my faith that leads me to implore this court not to put William Conner Lewis in Jail. He is a young man and I have heard what happens to young men in jail. My own pain and suffering would be increased substantially knowing that this young man would face that prospect."
Lewis read a statement in court where he said "since this incident I have been known as the teen who threw that bottle. That is what I did, but that is not who i am." He also asked the Richmond to forgive him for the embarrassment he says he has brought to the Richmond community.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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