WATERVILLE — Court officials Tuesday entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a Badger Mountain murder suspect after he refused to answer questions in what was his fifth arraignment hearing.
Dalton Scott Potter, 28, of Wenatchee, is charged in Douglas County Superior Court with 13 felonies, including first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Potter declined, as he has at each hearing since he was arrested seven weeks ago, to confirm his age or address at the arraignment, a standard court procedure.
He did, however, state on several occasions that he did not feel comfortable with jail staff, his attorney or anyone at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.
“Since the moment the court has started I haven’t felt comfortable,” Potter said. “My rights been being violated, and I’ve been misrepresented (and) intimidated. I don’t feel comfortable in this county jail.”
Potter did not provide further details on how he had been intimidated.
Douglas County Court Commissioner Philip Safar, who’s presiding over pre-trial matters, told Potter that he could submit his concerns in writing but that he’d need to provide additional details.
Since Potter did not review the charges and rights with his court-appointed attorney, Safar read to Potter his rights and the charges filed against him.
Potter attempted to speak while Safar read, saying that he did not feel comfortable proceeding without an attorney. Safar clarified several times to Potter on Tuesday that Jesse Collins, public defender, was his appointed attorney.
After reading Potter his rights and each of the charges filed against him, Safar asked how Potter pled. Potter was silent, which by state law was able to be taken as a not guilty plea because his charges and rights had been read to him.
The next hearing has been scheduled for March 28.
But before the hearing concluded, Potter interrupted to ask if he could represent himself.
Safar said that he’d need to submit his request in writing, but Potter said he could not because he doesn’t trust the jail staff or his attorney.
“I just want you to listen to me that you need to understand that my job is to ensure that your rights are protected,” Safar said in response to Potter. “And that’s what we have been doing. And that’s what we’re doing today. And we will continue to do so in the future.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office detectives believe on Jan. 21 Potter shot and killed Alyssa Ann Longwell, 37, of Kennewick, and then shot at a father and daughter who witnessed the shooting on the 1700 block of Badger Mountain Road, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Superior Court.
The father and daughter were traveling behind a Kia Soul allegedly driven by Potter. The Kia and gun were both registered to Longwell, who was the sole Kia passenger.
Potter is being held at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on $3 million bail.
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