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Posted on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township man pleads no contest to fatal beating in West Willow

By Kyle Feldscher

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 Bernard Potter.jpg

Keithen Potter

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.


David Bennett

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.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Feb 17, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Can we claim him as a dependent on our tax returns now?

Berda Green

Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

i thought he was sent to prison allready just send him


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

State law requires a presentence report be prepared prior to sentencing


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

so did he break into Bennet's house?? larceny from a building was he caught stealing items and a fight ensued?? why would that be dropped? and i agree with others here; I hope Judge Brown throws the book at him


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

no he did not break in. He was suppose to be a friend of my grandfathers. He use to come over all the time and watch movies and drink. I do not know if he stole anything. They might have charged him for larceny because my Grandfathers hunting guns, and cell phone was gone. As far as I know it was a fight.


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Not a day goes by that I do not think about my grandfather. He was not the best guy around, but he was my grandpa. The sad part is the guy that did this is dumber then I remember because if you did not do it or you do not remember why plea?


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

With 2 previous felonies, no job, no home, 3 children that he can't take care of, and now murder. Why even waste time with this non-productive individual. Lock him up and throw away the key. Forever.