- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - A Montana man accused of kidnapping a mentally impaired 84-year-old uncle from North Dakota has pleaded not guilty.

Thomas Potter faces charges including kidnapping and endangering. His trial is to begin June 8. He could face 31 years in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, KXMB-TV reports that authorities have dropped charges against Sandra Potter, the niece of 84-year-old Robert Gross. Prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and she might still face charges in the future.

The Potters were accused last fall of keeping Gross in deplorable living conditions and getting him to sign over oil well rights. Gross’ family members described him as having the mental capacity of a 12-year-old.

Sandra Potter was arrested in her Worden, Montana, home. Thomas Potter was arrested near Yuma, Arizona, and Gross was with him.


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