Murder defendant plans to claim self-defense

Mar. 20, 2013 @ 06:23 PM

A Henderson man charged in the Oct. 26 death of his brother at the Scottish Inns Motel will seek a self-defense claim as the case proceeds past preliminary hearings toward a jury trial.

Clifton Morris Hammond, 26, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Antonio Fitzgerald Hammond, 33, appeared in court Wednesday. Judge Henry W. Hight ordered the case continued on $25,000 bond, and Clifton Hammond left the courtroom with several others who were there in his support.

His attorney, Michael F. Rogers, said he had not received all the case evidence from prosecutors yet to complete his request for discovery.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps said the State Medical Examiners’ Office has not yet released an autopsy report. She told The Dispatch she did not know the reason for the report taking so long.

“I don’t know if there is a delay for that one, or if the medical examiner’s office is running behind schedule,” Capps said.

According to Capps, Rogers recently filed a motion that notified court officials of the possibility that Hammond could seek a claim that he acted in self-defense.

The most recent reports from the Henderson Police Department confirmed only that Antonio Hammond did not die from a gunshot injury or stabbing. Lt. Christopher Ball earlier said the cause of death would come from the medical examiner’s office in Chapel Hill.

Emergency personnel were called to the motel late on the night of Antonio Hammond’s death. He was transported to Maria Parham Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Clifton Hammond’s bond was reduced from an original amount of $100,000.

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