FIRST ON 3: Teen allegedly beaten by boyfriend opens eyes, communicates with friends
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Hannah Connaway's friend Claudene Williams said Connaway opened her eyes and communicated with friends and family Wednesday.

They said she was talking hoarsely, telling them she loves them and is happy to see them. A hospital spokeswoman said Connaway is in fair condition.

Witnesses said the 17-year-old girl's boyfriend beat her so badly she had to have brain surgery and be put in a medically-induced coma Friday. Her alleged attacker, Michael Hutton, 18, is still in jail under a $1 million bond. He denied our request for a jailhouse interview Wednesday.

At the New Hanover County Courthouse Tuesday, Montgomery Register said she dated Michael Hutton for more than five years.

“He's not a good guy,” Register said.

She said she worried this day might come for her or anyone else who dated him.

“People that know me know the things I've been put through,” she said.

Meanwhile, we're learning more about what warrants show Hannah Connaway went through Friday night. Warrants said it happened inside Michael Hutton’s home off of Northwoods Drive in Wilmington.

She was chased and assaulted multiple times. She was hit repeatedly with a closed fist in the head causing brain swelling and then choked hard enough to bruise her neck and to close her airway. Police said all of this happened while the suspect yelled at her to stop screaming.

WWAY went to the home Wednesday to see if anyone could tell us their account of what happened but no one answered the door.

But, Register had more to say.

“I know what kind of person he is and the things that were said in the courtroom by his attorney were not what should have been painted about him," Register said.

In New Hanover County Court Tuesday, Hutton's attorney said Friday's incident might have been sparked by a bad combination of alcohol and medication Hutton takes to prevent seizures.

Register wasn't at the home Friday but she said she worried Hutton would hurt her when they were dating.

"I have nightmares about it. Yes, I do,” she said adding that she's glad to see Hutton behind bars.

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Today, I was at Kenan Auditorium to watch my nephew graduate from Isaac Bear Early College High School. Hannah's best friend walked across the stage and accepted Hannah's diploma for her. The graduation gift was a monetary donation to Hannah's family. They did a very nice job of honoring her today.

Montgomery register was beat by him too. I know her. But they settled it between the parents

Everyone should take the time to teach their children (especially girls) that no one should harm them in any way. Love does not harm them physically or emotionally. Tell someone and leave if it does. Daddies need to show respect for their Mamas so that girls can learn what a stable relationship is. Girls tend to migrate toward boys like their dads. Someone save the young girls who have no one to teach them. I am teaching the young people I know now by telling them of this tragic event. It is never too early to start in an age appropriate manner. God Bless this young girl and may she eventually learn to trust in a loving non violent relationship in the future.

Good God.. Let that girl be ok. It might be hard but the doctors know what they can do. They fixed me from having seizures they can save this girls brain. And boy o boy that dude needs to go to big boy jail and see how much he likes other men beating all over him.

"Teen allegedly beaten by boyfriend" - perhaps she is just allegedly in critical condition - idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was beaten - no allegedly beaten - check your syntax!

I saw the picture of him in the courtroom with his parents. I feel for them - knowing that your son has beaten someone almost to death - every parent's nightmare. Now the spin doctors are at work - going to pull everything out of the woodwork to show him as being the victim. By the way, you show two different pictures - a wild haired guy and a clean cut guy - which is it?

To the parents of the young lady - may God heal her and give your daughter back to you. May she be able to get past this brutal beating and move on with her life.

The news always puts allegedly in stories like this because it isn't the job of the news to hold court and convict people. If by some fluke he is found not guilty and the news said "He beat her" he would then have grounds to sue on defamation of character. You know there is a sleazy lawyer that would take the case and most likely win a payday.

Absolutely hate to say this part, but if the guy has any documented mental or brain medical condition at all, this is not likely going to turn out with a full conviction. It is your personal duty to protect yourself and steer clear of or leave a situation where a guy has shown he is or has been violent to others.

...but she now has permanent scars that will induce nightmares forever. Nobody should ever have to endure a beating like that, especially a helpless little 17 year old girl.

Let's just hope that for once our judicial system will shrug off his wormy defense attorney, perform due diligence and place Hutton in the nastiest state prison they can find for a very long time where he'll get the very beating he just gave her 10 times over every night. If Hutton every happens to walk through the courthouse doors of this county as a free man, he'd best have an entire fleet of body guards accompany him!

He had a tangled fishing line and she was wearing too much eye makeup. They cancel each other out I guess. Let the young fella go I say!

You are absolutely sick in the head. What if this was your child that had been brutally beaten?

If they are blaming alcohol and seizure meds,is whoever gave the 18 year old alcohol going to be charged as well, since they contributed.

This is the saddest and most horrible attack I think I can imagine. This big supposedly man beat this little petite girl within inches of her life. He is definitely a bad, bad person. I hope the courts recognize this fact and put him away for many, many years. Seizures and alcohol did not do this. This is pure cold callous mean. I would not want him for my neighbor, I would take the pot grower any day.

actually, it is. the combination is what caused him to black out. When he's sober and knowing what he's doing he doesn't just walk around punching people..if you do not know them or the circumstances I probably wouldnt talk on it, because you don't know the facts or them.