Arkansas war veteran released from jail due to health concerns
May 20, 2018 |
WALDRON, Ark. —
UPDATE: According to Scott County Sheriff Randy Shores, Fred Potter has been released from jail after Shores expressed concern for Potter’s health.
After talking with a judge, Shores said Potter was released to the custody of family members. Shores said Potter was to be examined by a doctor to determine if he is healthy enough to be in jail.
Shores said it depends on what a doctor says whether or not Potter will be returned to jail. Family members will present the sheriff with the doctor’s letter once Potter is examined.
According to court records, when 88-year-old Fred Potter was found in contempt of court for a second time the judge said the court has never had a case before with so much “willful disobedience”.
The Korean War Veteran told 40/29 News he’s never been to jail before, until Friday morning.
“I’m ready,” Potter said as he walked inside the Scott County Detention Center to turn himself in. “I don’t think very much of it but I’m here, that’s where they want me.”
A family trust dispute landed Potter behind bars after failing to comply with a court order.
Potter was a Marine who then served in the Army. He was married to his wife, Betty, for nearly 30 years.
Before his wife passed away, Potter said they both created separate trusts, because Potter said they thought it would be better than a will, “We set it up to where the one that was left living would have an income and it didn’t work out that way.”
Potter said his wife’s niece was made executor of his wife’s trust. Potter said he was supposed to receive income from rental properties as well as from stocks and bonds.
But, Potter said he never got the payments so he went to court, “Get a good attorney that knows what they’re doing when they make out a trust because the attorney that made mine out, evidently, went wrong.”
Potter said he moved out of his home in Waldron and took his belongings with him when his niece started charging him rent. Potter said he bought a new home in Alma.
But, after years of court hearings Potter was ordered to return everything and he was even ordered to place items back in the exact locations they were when he moved them. He was given until 5 P.M. Thursday or he would be considered in contempt of court.
Everything will be auctioned off and the money will be split between the two trusts.
“My clothes, my cuff links, everything I own,” said Potter.
But, Potter said he does not have some items that are listed with the court, such as gold bouillon and a stradivarius violin. Potter said he does have a violin, but he says it’s not a multi-million dollar instrument, “It’s one my father had when he was a young man. I have none of these items and I can’t produce them so I’m in contempt of court.”
40/29 News contacted Potter’s niece. Her husband said that they had no comment on Friday.
The war veteran told 40/29 News he suffers from congestive heart failure and when it comes to life behind bars, “I don’t belong there, in fact, I left the doctor’s this morning and I have a letter that says they’re going to have to take care of me.” Potter added, “Yeah it is crazy.”
Potter said he does not know how long he will be in jail. He has a court hearing June, 4th in the Scott County Courthouse.
According to court records, Potter is eligible to be released if he posts a $25,000 bond. Potter could also potentially be charged $1,000 everyday that he’s behind bars for contempt of court.