MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 15, 2012

Missing man may be dead

Woman claims to have killed Hulbert resident

— Cherokee County Sheriff’s officers are looking for a missing Hulbert man rumored to be dead.

Sheriff’s department investigator James Brown said deputies are searching for Herbert Lee Potts, 48. Brown said a missing persons report was filed Friday for Potts, who may have been missing since March.

“Well, it’s hard to tell,” Brown said. “Some people said they haven’t seen him in a while, and some said they’ve seen him as recently as Thursday of last week.”

As of Monday evening, investigators were searching the Hulbert area for Potts — and potentially for Potts’ body. Brown said there have been rumors that Potts is dead.

“A woman has stated that she has killed him,” Brown said.

That woman has not been arrested, Brown said, while investigators continue the search for clues to Potts’ whereabouts.

“We’re following up on all leads,” Brown said. “We really don’t have an idea yet of what happened, just a lot of statements and rumors.”

Potts, described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 225 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes, has “got all kinds of things on his record,” Brown said.

Online court records show Potts charged with more than a dozen crimes in Cherokee County since 1985 — including convictions for first-degree rape in 2005 and manufacturing controlled dangerous substance in 2007.

Potts was charged March 1 with fourth-degree arson and threatening to perform an act of violence after being arrested Feb. 17 for allegedly threatening to kill Kadesha Spears.

Deputies said Spears told them Potts threatened to burn Spears’ house down while she and others were inside.

“We definitely know him well,” Brown said.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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