Trauma to neck cited in Hammond autopsy

Jul. 04, 2013 @ 03:52 PM

The older brother of a Henderson man charged in his Oct. 26 death died of “deep neck trauma,” according to an autopsy report released this week.

Clifton Morris Hammond, 26, is scheduled to appear in Vance County Superior Court on Monday. He faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Antonio Fitzgerald Hammond.

Preliminary motions are expected in preparation for trial, according to the prosecution led by Allison Capps, the assistant district attorney.

Clifton Hammond is out of jail on a $25,000 bond.

According to police reports, the two had an altercation in room 114 at the Scottish Inns motel at 1759 N. Garnett St. in Henderson.

The autopsy report was signed by Dr. Clay Nichols of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh. Elevated levels of cocaine and alcohol intoxication were contributing factors to Antonio Hammond’s death, according to the report.

Hammond also suffered from significant but well healed prior injuries or medical procedures that left scaring and deformities to the right leg and scalp area of the head.

In the report, Clifton Hammond admitted striking Antonio in the face with his fist and called their mother after he failed to regain consciousness. The mother called 911 after arriving, about 20 minutes after Antonio Hammond had been hit.

Antonio Hammond was taken to Maria Parham Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Prosecuting the case is Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps. On Wednesday she said Vance County Superior Court is scheduled for trial proceedings next week, but the Hammond case is only up for motions before a trial is scheduled.

In March, defense attorney Michael Rogers notified court officials of a possible claim that Clifton Hammond acted in self defense. Rogers on Wednesday declined to comment on the case.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.