Durham man pleads guilty to shooting state trooper
Posted January 14
Durham, N.C. — A man accused of shooting a state trooper in the face during a traffic stop in Durham last year was sentenced Tuesday to a maximum of 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder and other charges in the case.
Mikel Edward Brady II, 24, also pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and assault on a law enforcement officer in connection with the shooting that hit Trooper Michael Potts in the face, hands and right shoulder.
Brady was sentenced to 238 to 298 months in prison.
Potts, who Durham County Assistant District Attorney Jim Dornfried said was heavily involved with the plea deal, was not in court Tuesday, but he did release a statement thanking prosecutors and investigators "who put in countless hours of hard work."
"I also thank the thousands of supporters, including the governor, that my family and I had during the hardest time of our lives," Potts said. "We look forward to moving ahead now that we have this closure."
The 12-year veteran of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol had stopped Brady for a seatbelt violation on U.S. Highway 70 on the evening of Feb. 18, and Brady responded by firing four shots, authorities said.
Dornfried said Brady was less than an arm's length from Potts when he shot him.
Potts, who is still on medical leave as he recovers, was able to make it back to his patrol car and use the radio inside to send out a description of Brady, who was arrested the next day.
"He has accepted responsibility for his action and has always accepted responsibility," Brady's public defender, Matt Cook said in court.
At the time, Brady was fugitive wanted in Vermont on a probation violation.
Brady also faces up to another 40 years for possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleaded guilty to that charge in August. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Brady, who is originally from Vermont, has a criminal record that includes convictions for burglary, home invasion and possession of stolen explosives.
Brady's pregnant girlfriend at the time of Potts’ shooting, Lyndsey Smith, was also arrested on accessory charges in the case.
She is out of jail on bond and staying in Vermont, where she went to give birth to her child.
Dornfried said in court Tuesday that she is cooperating with the investigation.