Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 10, 2012

Attorney asks for competency hearing in Potts case

TAHLEQUAH — The attorney for a Hulbert woman accused of first-degree manslaughter is asking for a competency evaluation for her client before the case proceeds.

Misty Coleen Richardson, 38, is accused of shooting and killing Herbert Lee Potts earlier this year and then trying to hide Potts’ death by pouring muriatic acid and lye on his body.

Court documents allege the shooting happened in the “heat of passion.”

Richardson’s attorney, Angela Jones, filed documents last week indicating her attempt to discuss the case with Richardson has led her to believe her client doesn’t have the ability to understand the nature of the charges.

Richardson also may not have the ability to effectively and rationally assist her attorney in her defense. Jones said Richardson “will not, and perhaps cannot, communicate on any meaningful level with defense counsel.”

Jones has requested a judge set a hearing on the application for a determination of competency, and postpone criminal proceedings for now.

Richardson, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is set to be back in court on Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing, with court documents indicating a medical examiner’s report has been delayed.

Special District Judge Holli Wells in July lowered Richardson’s initial bond of $75,000 to $35,000, but a request for another decrease in bond was denied last week. Richardson remains jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Potts, a Hulbert man, was reported missing by his family in May. Authorities considered Richardson a suspect, but said they had a hard time locating her. In June, Richardson was arrested in Tahlequah on unrelated charges, and allegedly admitted during a subsequent interview that she’d killed Potts and buried his body in Lost City.

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