DOC#: 881979 White Male
Lake County Superior Court
Judge Richard J. Conroy
Prosecutor: Joe Curosh
Defense: Kevin Relphorde, Scott
Date of Murder: October 12, 1987
Victim(s): Sharon Oke W/F/46 (girlfriend
of Potts); Robert Davey W/M/23 (no relationship)
Method of Murder: shooting with
Summary: Sharon and Jerry Oke
were separated from marriage, but continued their operation of Oke's
Lounge. While separated, Sharon moved in with Potts. However, after
Potts beat her and broke her jaw, Sharon moved back in with Jerry.
One night, Potts came to the Lounge and got into
an argument with Sharon. Potts attempted to pick a fight with Jerry,
who declined. Potts drew a gun and shot him 3 times. As Sharon came
towards him, Potts shot her in the heart and killed her.
One patron of the bar, John Smith, was shot in
the leg and another, Robert Pavey, was shot dead. Potts returned to
Smith and despite his pleas shot him twice more. He shot another
patron in the shoulder. As he shot, Potts ran out of ammunition,
inserted a fresh clip, and continued to shoot. In all, Potts shot 14
times, each shot striking someone.
He then walked behind the bar, called the police
and waited for their arrival. When police asked him why he had shot
these people, Potts asserted that they were all trying to jumphim
and were picking on him.
Conviction: Murder, Murder,
Attempted Murder (A Felony) (3 counts)
Sentencing: October 6, 1988 (Death
Sentence, 30 years, 30 years, 30 years consecutive)
Aggravating Circumstances: b (8)
Mitigating Circumstances: no
prior criminal record kind, generous non-violent father, on pain
medication and alcohol on day of murders, turned himself in,
constant and severe back pain, addicted to prescription narcotics;
alcoholic, divorced a year before murders, mental disease of
depression, sudden heat, 40 years old at the time of the murders
Agreed disposition entered, resentenced by
Special Judge James L. Clement on 04-08-96 to 210 years imprisonment.