Reggae legend attends ‘bottle-throwing’ hearing

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Reggae legend Frederick “Toots” Hibbert flew in from Jamaica to attend a hearing for the teenager accused of throwing a liquor bottle at him during a concert on Brown’s Island in Richmond last month.

Toots did not speak to reporters outside of court following the hearing, but did offer a wave and a smile for the cameras.

Inside the courtroom, a felony malicious wounding charge against bottle-throwing suspect William Lewis, 19, was certified to a grand jury scheduled to meet in July. A drunk in public charge Lewis faced was nolle prossed — or put aside.

Defense attorney Chris Collins described Lewis as “devastated” over what happened.

“He is very remorseful. It is already causing him problems in school,” Collins said after the hearing. Prosecutor Anne Lloyd said Lewis faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the felony malicious wounding charge.

Collins noted Hibbert attended Friday’s hearing with his lawyer, seeming to imply the musician may be planning legal action beyond the criminal case against Lewis.

Hibbert’s attorney Michael Shapiro would not specifically comment on plans beyond this case.

“The only thing I care about is his health,” Shapiro said. “He’s still under treatment and observation. There’s no clear resolution to his health at this time.”

When asked why Hibbert traveled from Jamaica to attend the hearing, Shapiro said they wanted to “be respectful” of the legal process. He said they were not here to point fingers.

Toots and the Maytals were performing at Dominion Riverrock on Brown’s Island on May 18 when a bottle thrown from the audience struck Hibbert on the head. The 70-year-old singer was rushed to the hospital where he received multiple stitches. [VIDEO: Teen arrested, ‘Toots’ recovering after bottle throwing incident]

The band performed the next night in New York, but soon cancelled the remainder of the tour — citing “health issues” stemming from the bottle-throwing incident.

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