A Big Bend man who told sheriff's investigators he shot his younger brother twice in the back of the head with a .22- caliber rifle because he had been sexually assaulting and abusing him was formally charged with murder Wednesday.
His alleged co-conspirator was arraigned on identical charges stemming from the fatal shooting early Saturday morning of Sonny Moss Potts, 27.
Noah Ryan Potts, 28, and co-defendant Colin Horn Kennedy, 25, pleaded not guilty through their attorneys to felony counts of murder and conspiracy during their arraignments in Shasta County Superior Court.
A Shasta County sheriff's summary of the case filed with the court said Noah Potts told detectives his younger brother got out of prison about a year ago and has sexually assaulted him on a few occasions since.
Potts said his brother would pin him against a wall and grab his genitals against his will, the sheriff's report said.
He told deputies that on the night of the shooting Sonny Potts gave him a hug, grabbed his genitals and told him that he would be his "b---h" for the night.
The Record Searchlight does not identify sexual assault victims under normal circumstances. The newspaper is reporting Noah Potts' allegations of abuse because they are at the heart of his case and potentially central to any defense.
According to the sheriff's summary, Noah Potts told detectives he and Kennedy had hatched a plan to kill his brother while they were out poaching deer.
"Noah told us when they went out looking for deer (and) Kennedy made comments about 'cleansing the (Native American) reservation' of rapists, child molesters and the like," the sheriff's report said. "Noah told us when they got back to the residence he and Kennedy both knew that they were going to kill Sonny Potts."
Noah Potts said he went into the house several times trying to "get the courage" to shoot his brother, but could not do so.
Kennedy, who was outside the residence, told him it was OK if he did not have the heart to shoot Potts, the sheriff's report said, adding that Kennedy told him to stay in his vehicle and that he would do it.
However, the report said, Potts later got out of the vehicle and went inside the house.
Potts said he found Kennedy sitting with his brother and all of them began to smoke methamphetamine, the report said.
At one point, the report said, Kennedy asked his friend, "Are we going to do it?" without getting a reply from him.
But shortly afterward Noah Potts shot his brother in the back of his head with a rifle that Kennedy had loaded beforehand and he then fired a second shot from only inches away as his brother was lying facedown, the sheriff's report said.
Deputies have said they went to the house about a quarter-mile north of the Pit Stop store in Big Bend in eastern Shasta County after getting reports of a gunshot victim around 4:48 a.m.
When deputies arrived, they found Sonny Potts inside the home, dead of gunshot wounds.
Both Kennedy and Noah Potts were later arrested.
Despite protests Wednesday from Redding defense attorney Elliot Burick that Potts was not arraigned within a required 48-hour time period, retired Superior Court Judge Richard McEachen declined to consider a verbal motion to dismiss the case and continued with the arraignment.
McEachen set a Nov. 21 preliminary hearing for both defendants.
An attorney from the Shasta County Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent Kennedy.
According to electronic court records, Sonny Potts has served time in prison for assault and drug offenses and was sentenced last year to three years in prison for false impersonation.
A petition to revoke his parole was filed in August.
According to electronic court records, authorities arrested Kennedy on a warrant out of Missouri in May. But the records do not specify the nature of the warrant, though he was extradited in June.
Noah Potts' criminal history includes arrests for public intoxication, interfering with emergency personnel, obstructing police officers and petty theft.
Potts is being held in Shasta County jail in lieu of $2.1 million bail, while Kennedy is in custody there in lieu of $2 million bail. ..Source.. by Jim Schultz