LIMA — Attorneys in the one-day trial of a Lima man charged with discharging a handgun in the direction of his rival for the sexual attention of a woman in a romantic triangle found much on which to agree Tuesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Multiple shots were fired from a 9mm handgun in the basement of a residence at 320 S. Woodlawn Ave. in the early morning hours of March 3 of this year, with a sexual encounter and a jealous boyfriend at the heart of that exchange. That much seemed beyond dispute as the jury trial of 26-year-old Dommnic Potts got underway.
But who fired those shots? That’s where prosecutors differed from the defense’s version of events. According to the state and a single reluctant witness, it was Potts who fired the shots.
According to the defendant, he was the intended target when the shots were fired.
Jurors deliberated for only an hour Tuesday afternoon before finding Potts not guilty of one count of felonious assault and one third-degree felony count of having weapons under disability.
Prosecutors called as their primary witness the man who placed a 911 call on the morning of March 3 alleging he had been the target of multiple gunshots. Adrean Seay, who admitted to jurors he was “not happy to be here” and was “not happy about the entire process” of dealing with law enforcement throughout the case, was heard on the 911 call telling police dispatchers that “he shot at me” and “if he didn’t have that gun he’d have got his ass whooped.”
A female, later identified as Seay’s girlfriend, Aspen Alexander, could be heard in the background of the 911 call, during which Seay repeated, “He shot at me … send the cops over here.” Seay named Potts as the assailant.
Several law enforcement officers were also called to the stand during the trial, including Mike Carman, identification officer for the Lima Police Department, who testified that six spent bullet casings were found in the basement of the Woodlawn Avenue home on the night in question.
But there was no direct link to Potts.
Potts told jurors he went to the Woodlawn Avenue residence on the night in question to engage in sex with Alexander and was in the process of doing so when Seay, whom Potts knew to be Alexander’s boyfriend at the time, burst into the room.
“He was mad,” Potts said of Seay. “He charged me. He swung on me and I struck him with my fist, then he pulled a gun and fired shots at me.”
Defense Attorney Carroll Creighton in his closing arguments said the state had based its case primarily on a “bunch of facts that can go either way. They don’t have a gun; they don’t have any bullets; they don’t have any DNA. All they have is a reluctant witness who didn’t really want to cooperate.”
Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Rebecca King-Newman and Tony Miller presented the state’s case.