The attorney for a Cherokee County man charged with a double murder last summer is still awaiting competency reports from defense experts.

Lawrence Langley, court-appointed to represent Johnny Keith Potts, 21, told Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins he was not ready to proceed Wednesday afternoon with a post-examination competency hearing.

Langley said Noreen Gay, one of those examining Potts, has indicated she will have a report of her findings written in a week.

“She told me she’s not prepared to say [Potts is] competent,” Langley said. “I’m no longer prepared to stipulate to his competency.”

Prosecutors asked for the hearing and understood Langley would stipulate, or agree with the DA’s office, that Potts is competent to stand trial. First Assistant District Attorney Donovan Dobbs said a jury trial on the competency issue is still set for Feb. 13.

“That’s not been stricken [from the court calendar],” Langley said.

Dobbs said the DA’s office has given Langley a copy of a report completed by the expert the state intends to use at Potts’ trial.

Dobbins told Langley to notify him and the state when the defense examination report is prepared and supply a copy of the report to the district attorney’s office.

Potts is charged with fatally shooting William McKinley “Junior” Ryals and his wife, Elsie Ryals, near their home in the Welling community. Investigators have said Potts had a “hit list” prior to the shootings that includes the Ryalses.


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