Missouri Man Charged with Sledge Hammer Attack on Mother

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RICHMOND, Mo. -- Authorities say that a Richmond man is under arrest after he allegedly struck his mother in the head with a sledge hammer.

According to authorities, officers were called to the home on West Dauxville Drive in Richmond around 5:44p.m. on Jan. 15 on a report of a woman bleeding from the head with an unknown head injury.

Police say that the 911 caller, identified as 21-year-old Michael Scott James Dorton, told police that he wasn't sure what caused the injuries to his mother.

Dorton's mother-- 39-year-old Stephanie Ann Bryant - is recovering in a metro hospital from a 'depressed skull fracture'. She was listed in fair condition Tuesday.

Court documents say Dorton called his girlfriend after the assault. The document says Dorton told her, "I hit her in the head with a sledge hammer," referring to Bryant. Documents say Dorton told his girlfriend on the phone that he tried to kill Bryant because they had been fighting about her not wanting his girlfriend over at the house.

Originally police didn't rule out that a pet monkey found in the house could have played a part in Bryant's injuries, but say that was quickly ruled out. Police say the pet monkey had nothing to do with the crime, but that it is illegal to have one.

Richmond Police Chief Chad Burnine says at first Dorton denied knowing what happened to Bryant. He says after doctors confirmed Bryant was not injured in an accident they went back to the home to question Dorton, but he was gone. Police say he stole his parents car and drove to Merriam. Police say local law enforcement caught up with Dorton Thursday night at the Aftershock Bar and Grill on Merriam Drive where he was scheduled to play a gig with his band.

"They were able to track some Facebook posts and were sitting there waiting on him when he showed up to play that night," said Burnine.

Burnine says Bryant could have been killed by the blow.

"I think the victim's very lucky in this case I feel like the doctors probably believe she's lucky with the amount of trauma she had to the top of her head that she survived this type of blow," Burnine said.

Dorton is being held on $750,000 cash-only bond. Police say Dorton is no stranger to law enforcement and has previous arrests for assault. They say he has since confessed to the attack.

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