Girlfriend accused of helping man charged with shooting trooper

Feb. 20, 2013 @ 06:57 PM

The girlfriend of a fugitive from Vermont accused of shooting a Durham-based trooper with the N.C. State Highway Patrol was arrested by Durham police Wednesday and charged with aiding her boyfriend.

Lyndsey Smith, 21, of Durham, is charged with accessory after the fact.

Mikel Edward Brady, 23, of White Pine Drive in Durham, is accused of shooting Trooper Michael Potts four times about 6:15 p.m. Monday during a traffic stop on U.S. 70 near Cheek Road.

Investigators said Brady sped away and abandoned his car behind a restaurant on Roxboro Road.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Smith is accused of meeting Brady behind the restaurant and driving away with him. Lopez said the two eventually ended up at Ashley Park apartments in Raleigh, where Brady was arrested Tuesday.

“I don’t know exactly what travels they did,” Lopez said. “I just know that they were subsequently found in Raleigh.”

More charges are possible, Lopez said Wednesday.

“The whole thing is still under investigation,” he said. “We don’t rush it. We try to do it right. No stone will be left unturned in this matter.”

Lopez said Smith was “being processed” initially at Durham Police Headquarters. She was then brought to the Durham County Magistrate’s Office, where a magistrate said bond was set at $1.5 million. Smith remained in jail Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Potts remains at Duke University Hospital, recovering from gun wounds to his face, shoulder and both hands.

“Trooper Potts is doing well considering the circumstances,” 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon of the Highway Patrol said Wednesday. “He is alert, talking, walking and is making great improvements as each hour passes.”

“His family wants to thank the community, law enforcement and medical personnel for their assistance and thoughts and prayers.”

Lopez said it’s likely he and his wife would visit Potts Wednesday night or today.

“Whenever an officer is hurt or winds up in the hospital, I pick her [his wife] up and we go to the hospital to see them,” Lopez said. “That’s a practice I’ve had since I’ve been here [in Durham]. It’s important that we physically see the person, to make sure that what people are telling us is right.”