A Gwinnett County jury found a man guilty this past week of shooting a woman he reportedly had a “volatile relationship” with at a Norcross hotel.
Bryan Christopher Hutcheson was found guilty of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Prosecutors said he received a 25-year sentence, with the first 15 years to be spent in prison, because he had committed at least one previous, unspecified crime.
Norcross police were called to the Guest Inn at 5375 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Norcross on Feb. 16 on a report of a “person down.” Officers arrived to find the victim naked but wrapped in a comforter going in and out of consciousness on the sidewalk.
“As she went in and out of consciousness, she told the officers that she had been shot in her stomach by the defendant,” prosecutors said. “She was transported to the hospital where she underwent surgery and was placed into a medically induced coma for three weeks.”
A medical bracelet with Hutcheson’s name on it was found in a trash can at the hotel. Although the hotel room he and the victim were believed to have been in appeared to be wiped down, prosecutors said one of his fingerprints was found on the television in the room.
The victim’s purse and a pair of leggings were also found in the room.
Prosecutors said video surveillance footage showed Hutcheson, the victim and another unidentified man going into the room on the evening of Feb. 15. The unidentified male left the room at 1:30 a.m. and then Hutcheson hurriedly left with several bags in his hands and got into a waiting car at about 9 a.m.
The driver of that car, who was a friend of Hutcheson, later called authorities after seeing their vehicle on a TV news broadcast.
“He informed police that he did pick up Hutcheson from the hotel that morning, and described Hutcheson as being worried and upset, but not discussing why,” prosecutors said.
“This witness and the defendant had been friends for approximately 20 years, and he could tell by the defendant’s behavior that something was wrong.”
Hutcheson then fled to Indiana, according to prosecutors.
Meanwhile, the woman he shot woke up and talked to investigators to explain some of what happened.
“She stated that (she) and Bryan Hutcheson had been in a volatile relationship,” prosecutors said. “She recalled that the morning of Feb. 16, the defendant was sitting on the bed and shot her with his Mac-11 as she was walking through the hotel room.”
The woman also told investigators that she recalled Hutcheson saying “I finally shot that (expletive)” to someone on the phone as he tried to clean up the blood in the hotel room after the shooting.
She told police Hutcheson threatened to kill her before he left.
“When the victim asked Hutcheson to leave so she could get help, he told her that if she did not die, he would be back, and to blame the shooting on the other (man) that had been in the hotel room,” prosecutors said.
Law enforcement officials arrested Hutcheson in March.