Local News

Durham man pleads guilty to shooting state trooper

Posted January 14, 2014

— 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.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • laurenpotts3 Jan 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    you should be ashamed of yourself for even posting something so ignorant! all LEO's deserve support and respect, even from you!

  • bdu4dals2 Jan 15, 2014

    24 years does not sound like much of a deterrent to me. He will most likely score parole and get to do it again, maybe with worse results.

  • disgusted2010 Jan 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Just by chance they had their third string "reporter" there and now they are the greatest thing since peanut butter. Can't decide if WRAL is out of control or just pitiful.

  • workingforthosethatwont Jan 14, 2014

    going to trial is always risky because of the bleeding heart liberals and the so called "incompetent to stand trial" thing. so I expect the trooper was happy with 20+ years. He'll be in prison so long he won't be able to harm anyone else.,...except another inmate.

  • Whatev333 Jan 14, 2014

    Although the sentence seems ridiculously low, I am glad that Trooper Potts and his family do not need to go through a grueling trial. I just hope this dirtbag doesn't have the right to appeal when he gets sick of sitting in a box.

  • smcallah Jan 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Because there was a plea deal. And the story says specifically that the Trooper who was shot was directly involved in the plea deal. I imagine that means the trooper is ok with being somewhat lenient on this man for whatever reason.

    The man still faces the extra charge of carrying a firearm while a felon. He shot a trooper with this illegally possessed firearm. If the next judge goes easy on that, then you have a valid complaint.

  • tarheelj Jan 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Really Justic4All? Thats ridiculous....you will see no such thing...they are not going to pull their guns on every stop...act suspicious or stupid and yes you probably will get it pulled but because you dont have your paperwork just right is absurd....at the same time the officer deserves to go home in one piece at the end of the day just like you do....and because you break a law that he/she did not create does not give you the right to shoot the one that agreed to enforce said law....if you dont like the law talk to your legislator not the Trooper.

  • Cahulawassee Jan 14, 2014

    Once (and if) his prison term in NC expires, he'll be extradited to CT where he was wanted in the first place, and he'll likely get another sentence there.

  • rougemontredneck Jan 14, 2014

    Throw away the key on this one. His life should be treated with the same respect that he gave the Troooper's life. NONE.

  • thechristinakimsucks Jan 14, 2014

    "We were the only news team in the courtroom. We had the only camera in the courtroom." Please blow your self-important horn about a totally irrelevant part of the story.