Wounded trooper released from hospital; judge says ‘no’ to lower bond

Feb. 21, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

A state trooper from Durham wounded during a Monday traffic stop was released Thursday from Duke University Hospital.

“Trooper [Michael] Potts is resting comfortably at home with his family,” 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon of the N.C. State Highway Patrol said in a release Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a judge on Thursday morning refused to reduce a $1.5 million bond for the girlfriend of the Vermont fugitive accused of shooting the trooper.

Lyndsey Smith, 21, of Durham, is charged with helping Mikel Edward Brady, 23, escape after he allegedly shot Potts four times during a traffic stop on U.S. 70.

Smith is accused of meeting her boyfriend behind a Roxboro Road restaurant shortly after the shooting, where he abandoned his getaway car and drove off with her. Police arrested Brady the next day at a Raleigh apartment, and arrested Smith on Wednesday.

At Thursday morning’s bond hearing at the Durham County Detention Center, Judge William Marsh III declined a request to reduce bond for Smith, who is seven months pregnant, to $750,000.

After his ruling, several people hurriedly left the courtroom in tears.

Smith’s next court appearance is set for March 13 in Durham County Superior Court.

Police released a search warrant Thursday that showed surveillance video from the trooper’s patrol car and from a Durham restaurant and check cashing store helped identify Smith and Brady.

Brady is from Randolph, Vt., where he is wanted on a felony absconder charge. He has a lengthy criminal record in Vermont, including convictions for burglary and grand larceny. He also has a federal conviction for possession of stolen dynamite. His most recent arrest was last fall when he was charged with poaching deer.

In 2009, Brady fled Vermont while free on bail on charges that he and another man forced their way into a home by breaking a glass door with baseball bats, assaulting two residents with the bats, tying them up and stealing the contents of a safe.

He was returned to Vermont after being arrested in Mexico by U.S. marshals working with Mexican counterparts.

Brady was released from prison in June after serving 28 months.

He remains in the Durham County Jail under an $8 million bond in the Durham shooting, and a $2.5 million bond on the absconder charge.

Brady is under “observation watch” at the jail, which means he is checked every 15 minutes by jail staff, according to Paul Sherwin, public information officer for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

Sherwin said observation watch is one level down from suicide watch, in that Brady wears regular jail clothes and is allowed to keep certain personal belongings in his cell.

Smith, who is charged with accessory after the fact and felony harboring of an escapee, is also under observation watch, Sherwin said.