Authorities make an arrest in Wrightsville Beach assault

Hugh Sandlin; Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office
Hugh Sandlin; Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office
Judson Gee
Judson Gee

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email
Updated by Kristy Ondo

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Wrightsville Beach Police have arrested a man accused of assaulting another early Saturday morning.

Police arrested Hugh Sandlin Wednesday night and charged him with assault inflicting serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies.  Sandlin drove to New Hanover County from the other side of the state and turned himself in after police contacted him by phone.

According to Wrightsville Beach detective Mike Altilio, Sandlin brutally assaulted 39-year-old Judson Gee on S. Lumina Avenue around 2:40 Saturday morning.

As of Thursday night, Gee was listed in stable condition at the hospital, but still on a ventilator and suffering multiple broken bones.

Sandlin made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon via video from the county jail.  His attorney told the judge that Sandlin thought Gee was someone else when he assaulted him. According to police, Sandlin said he had been drinking and was coming from a bar when he made the attack.

His bond was originally set at $50,000. District Attorney Jon David requested doubling the bond, due to the severity of the beating.

Gee's brother was also permitted to speak to the judge on behalf of the family, to request Sandlin's bond be raised.  He broke down sobbing as he spoke about his brother's condition, calling Sandlin an animal who should not be released from jail.

A few seconds later, the judge tripled Sandlin's bond to $150,000.

Sandlin's father was present in the courtroom during the video appearance. A judge instructed him that Sandlin was to have no alcohol if he posted bond.  Sandlin is a master's student studying voice in Chicago. He was visiting an uncle in Wrightsville Beach when the attack happened.

As of Thursday night, Sandlin had not posted bond and remained in the New Hanover County Jail.

If he posts bond before his next court appearance in October, he will be placed on house arrest at his father's home in Onslow County.

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