Scotty Gibson pleads guilty

A Prestonsburg resident pleaded guilty Thursday in a case in which he was charged with the 2018 murder of another inmate at the Floyd County Detention Center.

Scotty Gibson, 25, of Prestonsburg, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter during a hearing in Floyd Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon.

He was charged for the June 5, 2018, murder of inmate Adam Potter, 29, of Prestonsburg. First responders were called to the jail that day, following reports of an inmate who was unresponsive. Potter, 29, was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Gibson’s plea came following a recommendation made by Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner, who recommended a sentence of 10 years for the second-degree manslaughter charge. Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris explained that by pleading guilty, Gibson is waiving his rights, including the right that appeal the verdict. He also informed Gibson that he is not required to follow the recommendation presented in the case. 

Gibson, who also recently pleaded guilty to charges filed against him last year in Pike County, will be formally sentenced in this case in November. 

Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley reported after Potter’s death last year that Gibson allegedly attempted to strike him twice, but he only hit him once on the side of the head, causing him to fall at the jail. He said it was a “nightmare punch” that caused Potter’s death.

A Floyd County grand jury indicted Gibson for allegedly causing Potter’s death, but the indictment alleges “wanton murder,” meaning that Gibson did not intend to murder Potter when he punched him, as alleged. Turner previously reported that Gibson struck Potter in such a way that it injured his skull, causing a vein to bleed. 

Floyd County Jailer Stuart “Bear” Halbert reported that Potter had been in custody at the jail for 32 days at the time of his death. He was incarcerated for charges he faced in two cases that included public intoxication, disorderly conduct and second-degree burglary.

Potter, the son of Julia L. Shortridge and the late Tony R. Potter, is survived by his mother, siblings, grandparents and other family members. He was buried at the Campbell Cemetery in Prestonsburg last year. 

“He will be missed by all that knew and loved him,” his obituary read.

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