Vt. prisoner accused of shooting NC trooper
By ERIC FRANCIS
HERALD CORRESPONDENT | February 20,2013
Eric Francis File Photo
Mikel Brady is seen in court in Vermont in 2011.
An escaped Vermont prisoner is now in custody in North Carolina where he is accused of shooting a state trooper four times Monday night during what began as a routine traffic stop.
Former Hancock resident Mikel Brady, 23, who struck a plea deal following a burglary spree across Central Vermont in early 2011, was captured Tuesday in an apartment complex in Raleigh, N.C., after an intense manhunt.
He was charged Tuesday in Durham, N.C., with assault with intent to kill resulting in serious injury. Brady’s bail was set at $8 million.
The shooting left Michael Potts, a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, hospitalized in fair condition Tuesday following two successive surgeries to treat four bullet wounds to his face, shoulder and both hands.
The incident has been the focus of intense news coverage in North Carolina over the past 24 hours. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory wrapped up his State of the State address in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday evening and then went directly to Duke University Hospital to visit Potts and his family.
Police said Potts had pulled Brady over on a highway outside Durham because he had noticed that Brady was not wearing his seat belt and was driving a car with temporary plates. As soon as Pott’s reached the driver’s side window Brady began firing at extremely close range, police said after viewing a video from Pott’s cruiser.
The trooper was able to radio for help and give a description of Brady and his car, which was found a short time later abandoned in a restaurant parking lot about five miles from the shooting, police said.
Although Brady was believed to be alone in the car when the shooting took place, a total of four people were arrested Tuesday as possible accomplices. Police said these included Brady’s unidentified pregnant girlfriend, who authorities believe picked up Brady after he ditched his car.
Brady’s criminal career in Vermont began when he was a teenager and allegedly spanned two years. Police have said they suspect him in more than 100 burglaries across the center of the state, ranging from the Randolph Highway Garage to the Rock of Ages Quarry in Bethel. Authorities said he and several friends took dynamite from a locked magazine and triggered a federal anti-terrorism investigation — and eventually received a federal conviction for stealing explosives.
Brady was already serving one to three years for the federal charge and a concurrent sentence for burglaries in Orange County when he was convicted in January 2011 for a South Royalton home invasion in July 2008.
Brady was sentenced to serve 28 months to 10 years for the home invasion, but released from jail and placed on furlough in June 2012.
He disappeared last October and authorities had warrants out for his arrest as an escapee since that time.
Police said he resurfaced Monday night when he shot the trooper on a highway outside of Durham.
WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this story.