A Wilmington teenager police say was severely beaten by her boyfriend has been released from the hospital.
Hannah Connaway left New Hanover Regional Medical Center Friday after spending several weeks there recovering from her traumatic injuries. She had to undergo brain surgery the night of the attack.
Michael Hutton, 18, was initially charged with assault, but those charges were later upgraded to attempted murder.
According to the assistant district attorney, the incident happened at Hutton's parents' house while they were out of town. The ADA said Connaway and Hutton got into a fight over some texts messages. Connaway's friend, Claudene Williams, said she was with the couple at the time of the altercation. She said Hutton was angry because of some tangled fishing lines.
"He was angry because he couldn't untangle fishing lines," explained Williams. "He was blaming her (Hannah) for some things like having snarky remarks to things he was saying, and then it just escalated and kept on going."
The fight reportedly took place inside and outside of the house before ending in the front yard. Williams said Hutton had beaten, strangled, and dragged Connaway across the yard.
Hannah celebrated her 18th birthday in the hospital Wednesday. Her family says while she wanted to be home, the fact that she was able to celebrate a birthday at all is a miracle. While her condition has improved tremendously, her family says her doctors have told them it will take time for her brain to heal. She has no memory of what happened to her in May.
"She was leaving in August to attend college in Hawaii and study mechanical engineering," Cynthia Strickland, her grandmother, said. "I'm still hoping she will be able to go."
In the meantime, the focus for Hannah, who is able to walk and talk now, is take one day at a time.
Her family released the following statement to WECT Friday afternoon:
Today, we are leaving an incredible group of professionals at the hospital and transitioning to another phase of therapy for Hannah! All the doctors, nurses, therapists, cooks, and cleaning people at the hospital have been amazing. Thank you and God bless to all the people of Wilmington for changing our daughters life with all the many prayers and donations. I know God heard the prayers and healed our Hannah. God is good and we love all of you. We need additional time alone for continued healing.
Cindy, Shawn, Hannah and Jacob.
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