Ypsilanti Township man pleads no contest to fatal beating in West Willow
An Ypsilanti Township man is headed to prison after pleading no contest to beating West Willow resident David Bennett to death in a May fight.
Keithen Potter, 34, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in exchange for charges of open murder and larceny in a building to be dismissed. Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown will sentence Potter at 1:30 p.m. March 21.
According to police, Potter and Bennett got into a fight at Bennett’s home in the 700 block of Dorset Avenue on the night of May 11. The argument continued into the early hours of May 12, when Potter hit Bennett between 10 and 15 times in the chest before striking him three to four times with a chair, police said.
Bennett died from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Dianna Collins. She read portions of an interview Potter gave to police after the incident in May to Brown in court on Wednesday.
Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Laura Dudley told Brown that Potter was entering a plea of no contest to the second-degree murder charge because Potter did not have memory of the incident. Dudley said Potter was highly intoxicated during the fight.
According to a sentencing agreement, Potter will serve no more than 45 years in prison for the beating. The minimum amount of time he can spend in prison is still up for arguments at the sentencing hearing, but the agreement states that it will not be more than 25 years.
Potter has three children and was staying at his mother’s home, across the street from Bennett’s home, at the time of the incident.
He has previous convictions for home invasion and resisting and obstructing police.
Potter is being held without bond in the Washtenaw County Jail.