No intent?

The Horry County Police Department arrested Coastal Carolina University Student Joseph Frasco and charged him with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) on Saturday. The only reason I write about this is to comment on the compulsion that law enforcement has to provide detailed information about every case to the media. In this case, maybe it will finally backfire on them.
Lt. Myron Creel of the HCPD is quoted here as saying that he charged Mr. Frasco with ABHAN, he was monitoring the alleged victim’s condition at the hospital to be sure that the “the charges filed against Frasco are approprate,” because “[a]nytime you have a trauma like this . . . there is potential for complications and death;” (translate: we will charge this guy with Murder if we can) and then goes on to say, “[w]e don’t really think there was any intent in the incident.”
What?
The article begins by saying that Mr. Frasco was charged with ABHAN after accidentally shooting his roommate at close range with a shotgun. Someone correct me if I’m wrong in believing that intent is an essential element that must be present to charge a person with ABHAN. Or that accident is a complete defense to the charges.

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