Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston accused of assault, faces criminal summons

CHARLOTTE — A criminal summons has been issued for Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge involving a domestic violence incident, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheena Hopkins-Winston filed the charge last Thursday after she was released from jail in connection with an alleged assault on her estranged husband the day before. She accuses Winston of punching her in the shoulder with a closed fist, repeatedly pushing her, and trying to punch her in the face.

Hopkins-Winston was charged with misdemeanor simple assault. The city councilman accuses her of throwing an HDMI cable at him, punching him in the jaw multiple times with a closed fist, and scratching him with her nails.

According to the criminal summons, Winston is ordered to appear in court on June 20.

On Thursday, Winston filed for a domestic violence protective order against his estranged wife and for temporary custody of their three children. Winston said the attack was witnessed by his three children, according to the protective order.

Winston filed for divorce in November.

Unlike an arrest warrant, a criminal summons does not order law enforcement to arrest the subject of a complaint. They are typically issued when an incident is reported to but not witnessed by police.

Channel 9 received the following statement from Winston:

“Domestic violence is a trauma that affects too many families in our community. My family is not exempt. 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 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.”

Channel 9 also received the following statement from Darlene Harris, Winston’s attorney:

“Unfortunately, I see very frequently that the legal system is used as a tool of retaliation. 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, a 38-year-old Democrat, was first elected as an at-large member of Charlotte City Council in 2017 and is serving his second term.

Channel 9 has made several attempts to reach Hopkins-Winston for a comment.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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