Jesse Shuping, 28, was in court Wednesday trying to get his bond lowered. It appears investigators don't know exactly why he allegedly attacked 63-year-old Kue Tai, but they say Tai did nothing provoke the assault and did not know his attacker.
At 6'-1" and 220 pounds, Shuping towers over Tai, and for Tai's family, seeing Shuping for the first time was difficult and emotional.
"It wasn't easy just to realize this person that's accused of it is so much bigger than Mr. Tai. It's hard for everyone to understand why he would take out anything on him [Tai]," said the fiancé of Tai's daughter Jason Lee.
Although it's been three weeks since the assault, the victim is just starting to heal.
"This was a brutal attack that resulted in very severe injuries," said Lee.
According to the prosecutor, the injuries allegedly inflicted by Shuping include permanent blindness in Tai's left eye, severe cuts on his scalp and ear, blunt head trauma, and the list goes on.
"Ruptured ear drum, fractured facial plate, shattered sinus cavity, lacerated liver, fractured ribs," explained prosecutor Jennifer Lindow.
Shuping's attorney, in trying to get his client's $100,000 bond lowered, said Shuping is a veteran who served in Afghanistan during his six year military career. He added that the charge against Shuping - assault with a deadly weapon - was inaccurate.
"Judge, I don't believe there was a deadly weapon in this particular case. And I believe he does not pose any threat," offered lawyer Nick Saparilas.
But the prosecutor said that Shuping's military training qualified his hands and feet as deadly weapons. She also told the judge that Shuping has a relatively long criminal history in North Carolina and Virginia and is actually on felony probation in Virginia right now.
"He applied to transfer it to North Carolina. It was denied. So being here in North Carolina is a violation of his probation," said Lindow.
Tai was fishing at Falls Lake when the attack happened last month. He and his family are still asking one question:
"Why? Why would this happen to him? You know, he wasn't doing anything to provoke any sort of incident and it came out of the blue," said Lee.
Shuping's case is likely to be moved to Superior Court after the Wake County grand jury meets next week. The prosecutor says she expects Shuping to be indicted.