Girlfriend of Durham shooting suspect charged with helping him

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comFebruary 20, 2013 

— The girlfriend of a man charged with shooting a state trooper four times during a routine traffic stop Monday was charged Wednesday with helping him after the incident.

Lyndsey Smith, 21, of Durham was charged with being an accessory after the fact in the case, after they say she helped Mikel Edward Brady II elude police after the shooting.

Brady, 23, was charged Tuesday with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Police say he shot trooper Michael L. Potts after Potts pulled him over on U.S. 70 near Cheek Road on the east side of Durham.

Potts, 42, was hit in the face, his right shoulder and both hands, but is expected to make a full recovery.

At least two motorists called 911 to report the shooting, which occurred just after 6 p.m. One of the callers told an emergency dispatcher that Potts had turned on his blue lights to stop a black Nissan Altima in the westbound lanes of U.S. 70.

“The officer went to the window. He took a glance at the road, turned his head and shots were fired,” the unidentified caller said in a recording made public late Tuesday. “The officer hit the ground.”

The caller told the dispatcher that the Altima “sped off,” according to the recordings. Despite the wounds, Potts was able to get back into his car and report a description of his assailant and the car he was driving.

Police arrived at the shooting within four minutes. At least one of the arriving patrol cars raced off in the direction of the suspect vehicle, the 911 caller reported.

Investigators found the Altima, with a temporary 30-day tag, in the rear parking lot of a restaurant at North Roxboro and St. Paul streets. Durham police think Smith picked Brady up at the restaurant.

Brady was arrested Tuesday morning at an apartment complex in Raleigh.

Smith and Brady both lived at an apartment in the 1200 block of White Pine Drive, on the west side of Durham, according to arrest reports. Durham police confirmed that Smith is pregnant.

Vermont authorities were not sure if the couple traveled to North Carolina together, said William Soule, a supervisor with the state Probation and Parole Office in Hartford, Vt. Brady had lived in the nearby town of Randolph, Vt., where authorities charged him with felony escape from the state’s prison furlough program last fall.

Soule said investigators determined that Brady was “heading South, possibly Alabama,” where he has family, but did not learn of his whereabouts until this week’s shooting. Soule did not know why Brady chose to move to North Carolina or if he was working in the state.

Brady had been convicted of assault, robbery and three counts of felony burglary in Vermont in December 2010. By March of last year, he had served the minimum period of a sentence of 28 months to 10 years, and he was released from prison on June 25, Soule said.

Parole officials lost track of him in October after he was charged with shooting deer out of season and with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Brady made his first court appearance Wednesday, where his $8 million bail was increased by $2.5 million after he was charged with being a fugitive from out of state.

Soule said if Brady had turned himself in after the felony escape charges were filed in October he would have faced at most a year in prison. The maximum sentence for a felony escape from furlough conviction is five years, Soule added.

If Brady is convicted of the assault charge, he could spend between 14 to 17 years in prison, according to North Carolina general statutes.

As for Smith, if she is convicted of being an accessory after the fact of a felony, she could spend up to six years behind bars, according to the state statutes.

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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