Trooper Potts released from hospital, resting at home - WNCN: News, Weather

Trooper Potts released from hospital, resting at home

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Mikel Brady, Feb. 19, 2013. Mikel Brady, Feb. 19, 2013.
Mikel Brady in court in White River Junction in January 2011 when he was facing charges that he was involved in over a hundred burglaries before he fled with a co-defendant to Mexico from where he was extradited back to Vermont. Photo by Eric Francis. Mikel Brady in court in White River Junction in January 2011 when he was facing charges that he was involved in over a hundred burglaries before he fled with a co-defendant to Mexico from where he was extradited back to Vermont. Photo by Eric Francis.
Mikel Brady shows his new dental work to his family while in court in Vermont in Jan. 2011. Photo by Eric Francis. Mikel Brady shows his new dental work to his family while in court in Vermont in Jan. 2011. Photo by Eric Francis.
Lyndsey Smith on Feb. 20, 2013 Lyndsey Smith on Feb. 20, 2013
Lyndsey Smith Lyndsey Smith
DURHAM, N.C. -

First Sergeant Jeff Gordon with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol confirmed that Trooper Michael Potts was released from the hospital this afternoon.

First Sgt. Gordon said that Potts is resting at home with his family.

Earlier today, a second suspect in the shooting had her first court appeance.

Lyndsey Smith, 21, has been arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact in relation to the shooting of State Trooper Michael Potts. Smith is the pregnant girlfriend of the shooting suspect, Mikel Brady.

Smith is being held under a $1.5 million bond. A judge on Thursday refused to lower her bond because she is a flight risk and because of the seriousness of the crime. Smith is seven months pregnant. She is not working and has no family living in the area. Her family was at the court appearance but declined to speak to the media.

A spokesman for the Durham Sheriff's Office said pregnant inmates remain in jail until they need to be taken to the hospital, under armed guard, for delivery. If the birth goes smoothly, the mother is returned to jail after being released from the hospital. If she requires more medical attention that can't be handled in the jail, she is likely sent to Central Prison.

The child goes to the Department of Social Services if the baby is not given to an appropriate family member.

Brady, who is accused of shooting Potts Monday night, had his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Brady is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Two separate bonds have been set, a $2.5 million for the assault charge and an $8 million bond for being a fugitive.

Police also released the 911 calls from Monday night's shooting.

A passing driver told the 911 operator "a few shots were fired ... officer hit the ground."

Another caller told the 911 operator that "a policeman just got shot on 70."

Also, a caller told 911, "He is in the car. I don't know if he's OK."

Authorities in Durham questioned four people Tuesday morning, including Brady, in connection with the case. More arrests are possible, they say. 

WNCN has learned, at the time of the shooting, Brady was living in an apartment in Durham, and was later arrested in Raleigh.

Brady was a wanted fugitive in Vermont, having escaped from a furlough program. Authorities in Vermont had been searching for him for months until this week's shooting. 

The Highway Patrol says Trooper Mike Potts was shot at 6:08 p.m. Monday while performing a routine traffic stop at U.S. 70 and Cheek Road in Durham. Officers say Brady shot him and fled the scene.

The trooper is in stable condition at Duke Hospital and may be released as soon as Friday. Highway Patrol spokesman Jeff Gordon said Potts is "walking, talking and is making improved progress."

Kieran Shanahan, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, said Potts was shot four times at close range.

"It was miraculous that he survived," Shanahan said. "Trooper Potts is a great guy. His spirits are great. He's going to lick this thing.

"I can tell you this, his spirit is indomitable. He's going to beat it. He's not going to let anything like this get him down," Shanahan said.

Potts played professional baseball in the 1990s as a left-handed pitcher, WNCN has confirmed. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1990 draft, he later played for the Durham Bulls in 1992. Potts saw action in the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers from April to July 1996.

Brady, 23, grew up in Vermont and has had a long history of trouble with the law. A news release from the state of Vermont said Brady was charged with shooting deer out of season in October and possession of a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle.

The Herald of Randolph, a Vermont newspaper, reported that Brady's father was fatally stabbed in a hostage situation in 2002. The newspaper said Brady later developed problems with drugs and alcohol and was involved in "a two-year crime spree, that police believe included more than 100 burglaries."

According to the paper, those crimes included robbing a McDonald's and stealing a large amount of dynamite from a quarry.

The article also details a 2009 home invasion in which Janet Babcock testified that Brady and another man broke into her home wearing ski masks and wielding baseball bats. She testified that he pulled a knife across her arm five times while demanding money.

The newspaper quoted her as saying, "I'd never seen someone take pleasure in hurting someone before."

Shanahan called Brady "a dangerous individual." Shanahan said Brady was initially pulled for "lack of a seat belt."

According to the North Carolina Troopers Association Facebook page, Potts was shot in the face, hand and shoulder.

Potts has been with the department since 2001. On Sept. 13, 2010, Potts was placed on administrative duty with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, but no specifics were given as to why.

After the shooting occurred, U.S. 70 West was shut down Monday night as police looked for a man who fled in a Black Nissan Altima with 30-day tags.

Brady's car was recovered in a parking lot at the intersection of N. Roxboro and St. Paul streets.

A probable cause hearing has been set for March 13.

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