April 08, 2020

Teen-ager pleads not guilty to shooting mother

AUGUSTA — A Skowhegan teen-ager entered pleas of not guilty Thursday during his arraignment in Kennebec County Superior Court on eight criminal counts, one of which alleges he shot his mother in Waterville in December.

Jason Potter, 17, was indicted earlier in the week by the county grand jury on two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, reckless conduct with a firearm, criminal threatening with a firearm, aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, assault and criminal mischief.

Potter will face charges as an adult because of his extensive criminal record, including a felony burglary charge from September 1997.

Three of the charges involve an incident on Dec. 3 when Potter allegedly threatened another youth with a firearm in Waterville. The remaining charges are in connection with an incident a day later in which Potter’s mother, Patty Deschaine, was shot in the arm.

In conjunction with the second incident, Potter was charged with criminal mischief for damage caused at the Waterville police station and for an alleged assault on a police officer.

In news accounts of the shooting incident, authorities said they had trouble piecing together the events surrounding the shooting. Waterville police reported they didn’t believe Potter intended to shoot his mother, but they weren’t sure.

“Nobody at the scene will cooperate with the police, including the victim,” Waterville Police Chief John Morris said at the time. “There were other people at the scene, but it’s hard to know when everybody is uncooperative.”

The gun used in the incident was not recovered and had not been found before testimony before the grand jury.

Potter was also charged with probation violations at the time of the shooting and was taken into custody in lieu of $4,000 bail on his earlier burglary charge.

He is currently in the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta with bail set at $100,000 double surety or $50,000 cash.

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