Commonwealth v. Charles Adam Potter; Father Sentenced to 30 Years for Severe Abuse of Infant Son

Monday, March 02, 2015

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Charles Adam Potter, 32 years old, formerly of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci for charges of Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Child Abuse/Neglect. Judge Frucci sentenced Potter to 90 years in prison with 60 years suspended leaving 30 years to serve.  This sentence highly exceeded the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines which recommended a maximum sentence of 12 years and 8 months.  


Potter admitted the evidence was sufficient to prove guilt on November 25, 2014.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that between October 23-25, 2012, Potter physically abused his 5-month-old son causing severe, permanent injuries to the child’s physical and intellectual well-being.  On October 24, 2012, Potter and his wife brought the infant to the CHKD emergency room and reported hearing popping noises in his back. The next day, scans were performed and showed that the popping noises were the result of rib fractures. Subsequently, an evaluation by a physician in CHKD’s Child Abuse Center was performed, and evidence of brain bleeds was found. These brain bleeds and rib fractures were determined to be the result of shaking the baby to an extent inconsistent with normal care of a child. As a result of the injuries, the child developed cerebral palsy and will suffer physical and intellectual defects for the remainder of his life.


In November 2012, Potter was arrested and transported to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center to await his trial. In a recorded phone call from the jail, Potter admitted to his wife that he “snapped”, couldn’t calm the child down, and that he knew he was losing it and the next thing he knew, the child was in his hands.


Potter has a prior conviction for Assault and Battery of a Family Member.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Wendy Alexander and Elliott H. DeJarnette V. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.