July 22nd, 2024

Son’s charge for attempted murder of father taken down to aggravated assault in plea deal

By Medicine Hat News on June 19, 2024.

@MedicineHatNews

A Brooks man charged with attempted murder last fall in the stabbing of his father pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of aggravated assault.

Jared Derrick Potts, 33, was sentenced to four years in prison by the provincial Court of Justice at Medicine Hat.

Potts, in custody since September 2023, will serve another 34 months in a federal prison.

Court heard from prosecutors that the unprovoked attack took place while Potts was not talking medication related to a mental health condition.

Defence attorney Greg White said his client suffers from schizophrenia and is ready to move forward.

“He has a heart of gold and this has weighed on him,” White told court. “He has mental illness that at times causes him to do things that he would not and that he regrets.”

Potts, who is in custody in Peace River, appeared on close-circuit TV and declined his right to order a report examining his level of responsibility considering his mental condition at the time, as well as a “Gladue Report” report related to his Indigenous heritage and sentencing.

“It’s been eating me for the last year – I’m feeling good about getting this done,” he told the court. “I’m not in a rush, but I want to be honest.”

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors withdrew charges of breaching bail conditions and also possessing a dangerous weapon.

An agreed statement of facts state that Potts was staying with his father in September 2023 when the two were in the kitchen talking.

The older man turned his back to make coffee when he felt an attack from behind.

He suffered stab wounds to his cheek, forehead and shoulder as well as cuts about his body, and the pair made their way to the driveway outside the home. At that point neighbours called RCMP officers, who arrested the son.

The older man was transported to hospital and remained there for an extended period.

A victim impact statement summarized by Justice Derrick Redmond detailed continuing feelings of unease, familial tension and lingering physical problems for the victim, who also expressed some level of desire for reconciliation.

Redmond told Potts that sentencing “takes into account the individual, what they did, the impact on the victim.”

“What you’ve done is a very serious, very wrong thing,” he said.

“I note your background, your condition and your criminal record. You don’t come before the court as a first time offender.”

Potts’ time in custody equates to a 14-month credit for time served. He will also be required to submit a sample to the national DNA database and be subject to a 10-year weapons prohibition.

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