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"I just wanted him to die": Inside jealousy-fueled steak-knife murder of Nicholas Potts

Categories: Colorado Crimes

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Photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department. More images below.
We're learning more about the early Sunday stabbing death of Nicholas Potts just outside of Grand Junction -- a horrific crime witnessed by neighbors awakened by the desperate victim. Lee McDonald has been arrested in the case, and according to a just-released arrest affidavit, the motivation appears to jealousy taken to a bloody extreme.

See also: Lisa Marie Lesyshen enters insanity plea in killing of her nine-year-old son, Asher

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Another photo from the scene shared by the Grand Junction Police Department.
According to the Grand Junction Police Department, the incident took place at around 4 a.m. on July 13 near the intersection of Pinon Street and Santa Clara Avenue on Orchard Mesa, part of the Grand Junction metro area.

Presumably, most residents wouldn't have been awake at that time. But the cops say that shortly before his death, Potts, a 27-year-old based in North Miami, Florida, ran from house to house in the neighborhood, knocking on doors and pleading for help as the suspect, McDonald, followed him.

The pair eventually wound up in the front yard of 1254 Santa Clara, where investigators believe McDonald stabbed Potts to death. Police found two knives -- a butcher knife and a serrated steak knife -- on the ground near Potts's body.

What led to this horrific attack? More details can be found in a police report obtained by KREX-TV.

The affidavit quotes McDonald's unnamed girlfriend as saying Potts was in town for a visit, with the three of them hitting several bars in downtown Grand Junction earlier in the evening.

Upon their return home, the woman said McDonald went inside while she and Potts stayed in the car to smoke some marijuana. But shortly thereafter, McDonald reemerged and allegedly began yelling at the pair.

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Another crime scene photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department.
No word about whether McDonald saw anything happening or simply let his alcohol-fueled imagination run wild. But neighbors told police they heard an argument in which Potts told McDonald he didn't want to fight.

McDonald apparently did. One neighbor reported seeing him head back to the house, then return with "something shiny" -- one of the two knives, in all likelihood. The pursuit and its bloody conclusion followed.

In conversation with the cops, McDonald reportedly explained his actions like so: "I just wanted him to die."

At this point, McDonald remains in custody on suspicion of first-degree murder. He's due in court later this month.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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28 comments
rmd3d
rmd3d

Anyone posting any negativty on this page should be ashamed of themselves. I had the pleasure of growing up with Nick and he was a wonderful person. The bottom line is that there were witnesses that have provided testimonies to the police department claiming to have witnessed this madness going on from inside their homes. My poor friend had to die because of drunken jealousy and other people refusing to pick up the phone and help him. If any of you saw this going on- I truly wonder why you didn't think to call the police or just call out your door - make any attempt to stop that young man. This is not an issue over pot, any mention of the substance and people always have to put in their two sense. This shouldn't be a political debate and if anything- it should make you think twice about drinking heavily, not smoking weed. Rest in peace, Nicholas. If anyone deserves to rest peacefully, it's you. 

Andrew Koubek
Andrew Koubek

! What a coward nick was my roommate in college he will be missed!

bernadettedeibert5
bernadettedeibert5

So, the neighbors watched this from their homes? If someone had just opened the door, maybe yelled something, maybe it would have stopped him. How about calling the cops when you saw him come out of the house "with something shiny"?

My friends lost their son, a good, kind, gentle person who taught kids, and never hurt anyone. How could people just watch? How long does it take to dial 911, or even just open a window and yell.  Or hey....go out and help!

Bernadette....

anaamaral
anaamaral

Potts was a high school teacher in one of the most exclusive schools in Miami, he was a soccer coach and a track and field coach adored by the kids. He was only 27 years old and taught the kids math, this is a school where Phil Collins and Julio Iglesias kids attend. He was a loved son, brother and teacher. The idea of him knocking and no one helping him in freaking gun state is unbelivable the lack of humanity of these people. Was he smoking Pot? maybe but probably not, the whole thing is absurd 


Steve At Work
Steve At Work

Now he gets the spend the rest of his life in a cell with "Big Bubba's" cock.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

So Potts was smoking Pot before he died ...


... coincidence??



Matthew Munn
Matthew Munn

Interesting: all 3 went out drinking, but the only one that got violent was the one that DID NOT smoke marijuana.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "the woman said McDonald went inside while she and Potts stayed in the car to smoke some marijuana"


More Murderous Marijuana Madness !!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Inside all those tacky, chock-a-block, beige boxes, jealousies and covetousness rage.

bernadettedeibert5
bernadettedeibert5

@anaamaral  doesn't matter what he was doing. he was a good person, who needed help, and no one bothered to help him or even call the police.

and it was their neighbor who killed someone!!

sballardo672
sballardo672

@anaamaral  Your post started off well but lost credibility when you spouted off about the "lack of humanity" from people in a "gun state" not willing to help.  First, if someone is pounding on my door at 4AM, its probably going to take awhile for me to get up, collect myself, put clothes on, and make my way down to the door. 


Seriously, have people lost all common sense?  Did you think the killer was going to wait on the sidewalk for the homeowner to come down and open the door?  Is it possible that the killer was following the victim?  Oh yeah! It says so right there in the story!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay


"Murderous Marijuana Madness" 


Perhaps you should stop selling it to children?  

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@RobertChase


Gosh bobbie, that sounds like class snobbery.  And coming from a socialist, you should be ashamed.  

anaamaral
anaamaral

@bernadettedeibert5 @anaamaral I didnt say it mattered what he was doing on the contrary if you read carefully what I said, I said it didnt matter, I said he was a good person also, he was my son's teacher and I also said it was awful that no one helped him, all the press talked about was how they went out drinking and he was smoking pot which by the way is legal in colorado, these peopel will have to live the rest of their lives with his pleas for help in their conscience. I hope God have more mercy on them than they had on Mr Potts

anaamaral
anaamaral

@sballardo672 @anaamaral Yes, it is a gun  a state and probably a good percentage of the household own a gun. The neighborhood was not a bad crack dealing, high crime area, he knocked by all accounts on several doors which woke up several of the neighbors, one of them witnessed the stabbings, no one even bother to call 911. I am sorry if you would take a long time to collect yourself and get up but my fight and flight response is a bit faster than yours, I have been in a situation like this were I helped the victim so I know what I am talking about, Mr Potts was a good looking, clean looking person, did not show a threat to anyone. These people should at least, in the minimum called 911. That is the least to be expected, that is why when you are trained against rape and abduction you are trained to yell "fire" because people respond to fire better than to "help" or "rape". Whatever you think really doesn't matter because these people like you with "common sense" are the type of people that will have to live the rest of their lives knowing they could have done something to help save a life and they chose not to do anything and just listen to someones cry for help, hey that will be in their conscience for ever not mine


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues <== whines the self-confessed pedophile pervert with child porn for an avatar.

bernadettedeibert5
bernadettedeibert5

@anaamaral @bernadettedeibert5 Sorry, that was not for you, it was for the person who said something else.

He was a great guy. His parents and siblings showed such strength and love at his service, it was just awe inspiring. Thanks for your kind words.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues


It is quite troubling that is what you see.  You should ask someone to shoot you.  They shoot horses that are lame.   Donkeys with a lame-brain should be mandatory. 

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