James Potts


James Potts, 19, of Fallentimber pleaded guilty to assault and animal cruelty charges on Monday and was sentenced to a lengthy state prison sentence by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman at Sentencing Court.

Potts pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, felony of the first degree, two counts, aggravated cruelty to animals and sentenced him to serve a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in state prison.

Ammerman said the probation department recommended a maximum of eight years in state prison, but Ammerman said officials at the Clearfield County Jail said Potts was disrespectful to staff, and got into fights so he increased the maximum sentence to 20 years.

A 20 year maximum means Potts will be on parole for 20 years.

Ammerman said he hopes Potts can turn his life around.

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“I truly wish that he does well,” Ammerman said.

According to previous articles in The Progress, on Sept. 22, 2019 Potts, William Benjamin Cochran, 34, of Coalport and several other people ambushed and attacked two males at a residence in Beccaria Township and smashed one victim’s car with baseball bats.

And on Sept. 5, 2019, Potts, Cochran and others are accused of going to a home in Jordan Township, confronting the residents and shooting and killing two dogs.

Cochran was sentenced last month to similar charges as well as contraband by inmate and was sentenced to serve three to eight years in state prison, according to a previous article in The Progress.

Attorney Jeffrey Weinburg of Pittsburgh represented Potts; the commonwealth was represented by Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue.