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Naytahwaush assault, kidnapping case heads towards trial

A man accused of the kidnapping and assault of a 22-year-old Naytahwaush man appeared in Becker County Court Wednesday.

Jeremy James Potter, 37, of White Earth faces felony kidnapping and assault charges.

He pleaded innocent, waived omnibus hearings, and filed a speedy trial demand on Wednesday before District Judge Peter Irvine.

According to court records and the Becker County Sheriff's Department:

The victim may have been enticed to Potter's home in White Earth by an offer to talk about a personal issue between them.

Once there, he was allegedly attacked by Potter and another man, who has also been charged in the case. They allegedly bound his legs with duct tape and taped his hands behind his back, then beat him using a variety of objects, including clubs, bottles and possibly a pool cue and a gun.

He lost consciousness for a time during the attack, and suffered a broken nose and required multiple stitches and staples to secure wounds to his head and face.

An anonymous tip alerted White Earth tribal police officers that an assault was occurring in the basement of the house, but the victim and suspects were gone when police arrived.

The suspects had apparently been alerted by listening to a police scanner, and put the victim into the back of a Ford Explorer, then took off.

A deputy found the Explorer overturned on County Road 133, sometimes called "Government Road," which has steep embankments and runs through a wooded, swampy area.

At the crash site, the deputy heard a man in the back of the Explorer and found the victim, still bound with duct tape.

Judge Irvine set a preliminary pretrial date of April 22, with the trial to take place the following week.