Aerius "P" Deshad Potts, now 21, was found guilty in 2008 of aggravated assault, cruelty to children and armed robbery for his involvement in the death of Paolo Cabanas, 25, in Elizabeth Village mobile home park in Carrollton.
Potts was found not guilty on the two counts of murder he faced in connection with the armed robbery and shooting that also injured three others.
The defendant's attorney appeared before Judge Dennis Blackmon in Carroll County Superior Court Thursday, requesting a one-month continuance so he can review the case with his client.
"This should be the last in a string of appeals," said Atlanta attorney David Marshall, representing Potts. "He was just brought in from the state system, and I'd like for him to stay in the county jail until the next calendar date so I can get to him and review the case with him."
Blackmon ordered the continuance, setting the motion for new trial for April 11. The judge also signed an order intending to keep Potts in Carroll County until that date, although that was not a guaranteed possibility.
Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen, representing the state, told the judge she had no problem with keeping Potts in the county jail.
Potts was sentenced by Blackmon in 2008 to life in prison, plus 205 years in prison and 12 months in the Carroll County jail.
He was the eighth of nine defendants accused of participating in the armed robbery and shooting.
Others who were charged in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Paolo Cabanas on July 19, 2006, were Cody Buchanan, 19; Randall “Boots” Laye, 19; Christopher “C-Weezy” Coleman, 21; Arlandra “Red” Deonta Holland, 18; LaBryan “Brian” Lytle, 19; Chade Lamont Ackey, 20; Varion “Snoopy” Shell, 18; and Marcus Tyrone Oliphant, 19.
Of the nine co-defendants, only three were acquitted of most or all of their charges.
Potts was among the defendants most harshly sentenced for the crime.
Each of the six defendants who pleaded or were found guilty received at least a lifetime sentence, including Laye, Holland, Coleman, Potts, Lytle and Oliphant. Of those, Oliphant was sentenced to the most time, currently serving two life sentences plus 130 years.
Three of the accused were acquitted of most or — in one case — all charges. Buchanan and Shell were acquitted by a jury of most charges, being sentenced to time served.
Ackey was the only defendant to be completely acquitted of all charges.
Sabrina Montsivais, who was 9 at the time, was shot through her legs. Sabrina and her siblings Pablo and Valerie, were being watched by Cabanas while their father came home from work. Cabanas’ husband, Jorge Espinosa, was grazed by a bullet as it went through the mobile home and his brother, Pedro Espinosa, was shot in the leg.
While addressing the court during his sentencing, Potts said he was sorry about what happened to the Espinosa and Montsivais families.
“I wish I could direct this to the victims, but I don’t want them to feel intimidated. I feel very hurt for what happened,” he said.
When he was arrested, Potts was 15 and was sent to a juvenile detention center until he was 17. During that time, he said, he started working on his GED and high school diploma.
“I can’t say give me a second chance because I never had a chance,” Potts said during his sentencing in 2008. “I just want to live and become a productive member of society.”