A Northeast High School sophomore was convicted of aggravated assault Thursday for punching a senior, causing her to lose consciousness during marching band practice.
The sophomore, a 16-year-old boy, also was found guilty of sexual battery and violating his probation during a Bibb County Juvenile Court trial. The teen was a mellophone player in the high school band.
He is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 5. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in a youth detention center. He was suspended from school after the attack for the remainder of fall semester, but he’s back in school now.
During Thursday’s court session, the senior, a 17-year-old girl, testified that she was on her way to the football field for practice with other marching band members Aug. 27 when the sophomore hit her on the buttocks with his hand.
She asked the sophomore why he had touched her and told him not to do so again.
Moments later, the sophomore struck her in the head.
“All I saw was something silver coming toward my head,” the girl testified. She said the next thing she remembers is waking up in an ambulance.
Prosecutor Mike Smith contended that the sophomore struck the senior, a piccolo player, with the metal mouthpiece for his mellophone, an instrument similar to a French horn.
Four band members testified that they saw the girl fall.
A 17-year-old mellophone player said that at first it looked like the two students were engaging in horseplay. It became evident, though, that the two were quarreling.
When she saw the senior fall, try to get back up and fall to the ground, she said she ran over and saw that the girl’s head was bleeding.
The sophomore testified that he was “practicing (his) notes” on the way to the football field when the senior yelled at him in a threatening manner and accused him of touching her buttocks. Then she started chasing him, he said.
When they stopped, she started punching him. While trying to block the blows, the sophomore pushed out with his hand and struck the senior, he testified.
The sophomore said he had not touched the girl and didn’t mean to hit her. Pushing out his hand was supposed to get her off of him.
The senior testified that she didn’t hit the sophomore and did not chase him.
Several of the band members who testified said they saw the sophomore standing over the senior as she lay on the ground. At least one of the students said the sophomore’s hands were balled into fists.
A 17-year-old trumpet player testified that he punched the sophomore in his mouth after seeing his friend, the senior, on the ground. He was suspended from school for 10 days following the incident.
A 15-year-old trombone player said she helped remove the sophomore from the situation when several band members tried to fight him.