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Dalton Lee Potter

Dalton Lee Potter, a 29-year-old fugitive from Texas who shot a Whitfield County, Georgia, deputy during a traffic stop in September pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Potter entered a guilty plea Tuesday morning to the charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by bringing stolen property into Georgia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Jim Wilbanks after a plea deal was agreed upon.

Bert Poston, the district attorney for the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, said Potter has pending charges in Gordon County including another aggravated assault charge and pending charges in Texas.

On Sept. 6, Potter was driving a truck pulling a stolen trailer when deputies from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office pulled him over. Deputy Darrell Hackney approached the driver's side of the vehicle when Potter pointed a handgun at the deputy from the car. Hackney was able to hit the gun with his flashlight before trying to retreat and take cover.

Potter fired several shots at Hackney and hit him once in the back.

Hackney was not seriously injured because of his ballistic vest. Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said Hackney had some bruising and a burning sensation but was treated and released that same night.

Hackney and Deputy Adrian Gomez returned fire, but Potter was able to speed off. The suspect crashed his truck and escaped into the woods and the stolen trailer was recovered near the Whitfield-Gordon county line.

The GBI later said explosives were found in the trailer that would be destroyed by the bureau's bomb disposal unit.

Jonathan Hosmer, 47, was arrested about 5 a.m. on Sept. 8 at a location given to law enforcement by an anonymous tipster. Chitwood said the suspect was checked for dehydration and taken to the Whitfield County Jail. Hosmer was one of two fugitives involved in the shooting.

Potter was arrested after a three-day manhunt in Resaca in which hundreds of law enforcement officers from surrounding counties and jurisdictions pitched in to help.

Chitwood told reporters that Potter also shot an unidentified civilian while he was hiding and running from law enforcement. Potter was found about 250 yards into the woods and had a head injury when he was handcuffed.

The person who was shot was taken to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga for treatment and later recovered.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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