A Democratic city councilman in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been accused of punching his estranged wife in the shoulder in a recent domestic dispute for which she has been charged with assault.
Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston, 37, was slapped with a criminal summons in connection to an alleged Jan. 5 incident involving his estranged wife, Sheena Hopkins-Winston.
There is probable cause to believe the councilman punched Hopkins-Winston with a closed fist on the left shoulder, repeatedly pushed the victim’s body and attempted to punch the victim in the face with a closed fist, according to the criminal summons issued in Mecklenburg County.
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The summons says Winston is required to appear in court on June 20, 2022, in Mecklenburg County and failure to do so may result in the issue of an arrest warrant and being held in contempt.
The allegations come after the councilman was granted a temporary restraining order against his estranged wife and temporary custody of their three children. Hopkins-Winston was arrested last week and charged with misdemeanor simple assault in an incident involving her estranged husband also on Jan. 5.
The arrest warrant against the wife came because there were witnesses to the alleged assault
The councilman accused his estranged wife of throwing an HDMI cable at him, punching him in the jaw multiple times with a closed fist, and scratching him with her nails.
Hopkins-Winston reported the allegations against her estranged husband after she was released from jail on the assault charge. The two are in the final stages of a divorce process.
« Domestic violence is a trauma that affects too many families in our community. My family is not exempt, » Winston said in a statement to Fox News Digital Wednesday. « It is important that survivors are able to have faith that our systems will provide protection and justice when traumas occur. I have faith. It is important to remember that regardless of gender, stature or status, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. I am grateful for those that have reached out to my family with support in these difficult times. »
« I understand the media has a responsibility to report when public servants are accused of wrongdoing, » the councilman continued. « The situation my family is facing is an internal one. I ask that the media respect the privacy of my children. There are many public records available that haven’t been reported on which may provide more insight and context to the legal situations that my family is enduring. »
His attorney, Darlene Harris, also provided a statement claiming the allegations brought by the councilman’s ex-wife are a form of « retaliation » and there’s « insufficient evidence » supporting her claims.
« Unfortunately, I see very frequently that the legal system is used as a tool of retaliation, » Harris said. « The evidence or lack thereof, will show that there is insufficient evidence to support the claims made against my client. We are looking forward to proving this through the appropriate legal processes. »
Winston was first elected to Charlotte City Council in 2017 and is now serving his second term. He filed for divorce from Hopkins-Winston in November, according to WSOC-TV.
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Before then, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office had tried to serve the councilman with divorce paperwork on seven different instances in 2019, WBTV reported. On one occasion, deputies tried to serve him at a city meeting, but Winston allegedly went out a side door to avoid them, according to the outlet.
« We have made multiple attempts. Politics don’t come into play when we’re attempting to serve civil processes, » Mecklenburg Sheriff Chief Deputy Rodney Collins told WBTV. « Regardless of a person’s position status we take that very seriously it’s a constitutionally mandated responsibility of the sheriff’s office. »