A Hickory man was found guilty of multiple sexual offenses and other charges by a jury during Burke County Superior Court on Wednesday (September 6).
32-year-old Michael Christopher Weaver was sentenced to an active prison term of 44 to 59 years by the Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, after the jury found him guilty of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree sexual offense, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, communicating threats and four counts of intimidating a witness. The defendant will serve his prison term in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
The 12-member panel deliberated for two hours before returning its guilty verdict to wrap up the trial. The offenses occurred January 30, 2016, at Lowman’s Motel in Burke County where the defendant and 30-year-old female victim were staying. Investigation shows that Weaver became angry and attacked the victim with a wooden stick, beating her severely. He then forced her to have sexual intercourse and brutally assaulted her sexually with the stick as well.
Weaver kept the victim in the room overnight before taking her to a hospital the next day. The assaults caused significant injuries that left the victim hospitalized for an extended period of time. The defendant later made threats against the victim on three days early in November 2016 that led to charges for intimidating a witness.
Melanie Robinson was the lead investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.