Lewiston man held without bail in Auburn hammer attack


LEWISTON — A local man was ordered held without bail Monday after what police said was a hammer attack on an Auburn man.

Jason Wotton, 31, of Lewiston appeared in 8th District Court on a charge of elevated aggravated assault, a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Judge Cynthia Montgomery set bail at $50,000 cash on the assault charge, but ordered Wotton held without bail pending a bail hearing set for Dec. 7. He had been free on bail in two other cases, including felony theft, when he was arrested Friday in connection with the Auburn attack.

Police said in a sworn affidavit that a witness called police to report two men fighting early Friday morning at a home on Washington Street. One of the men clutched the other man at the back of the neck and was beating his head into a tow truck, according to an affidavit written by Auburn Police Detective Marshall McCamish. The witness said one of the men was using a hammer on the other man and that “the offending male was trying to take off the male’s pants prior to running away.”

The victim, 37-year-old Leon Hunt, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with severe head injuries where he was listed in critical condition. Hunt was later airlifted to a Portland hospital where underwent emergency surgery. He was put on a breathing tube due to swelling in his brain.

Police tracked Wotton to his ex-girlfriend’s home on Main Street, where he was found hiding inside her apartment. She said she had dropped Wotton and Hunt off at Hunt’s home Thursday night. Wotton called her Friday morning and asked her to pick him up at a restaurant on Washington Street, which she said she did. She told police she had no knowledge of the Friday morning fight.

Police searched her apartment where they recovered her cellphone and a hammer that had red/brown stains on it.

Police noticed a spot of blood on Wotton’s face below his right eye next to his nose. They also could see red/brown stains on his shirt, McCamish wrote in his affidavit. Police took swabs of blood on Wotton for evidence, photographed him and seized his clothing.

His 2000 Chevrolet SUV was impounded.

The clothes Hunt had been wearing also were taken into evidence.

Judge Montgomery ordered that, should Wotton be freed on bail, he cannot have any dangerous weapons and can be searched for them at random. He is barred from having any contact with the witness, his ex-girlfriend and Hunt.

Wotton didn’t enter a plea on Monday. In order for a felony charge to proceed to trial, a grand jury must hand up an indictment.

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Jason Wotton of Lewiston appears with attorney, Richard Charest, in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Monday. Wotton was arraigned on a charge of elevated aggravated assault stemming from a fight in Auburn on Friday. (Christopher Williams/Sun Journal)

Jason Wotton (Sun Journal photo)