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June 8, 2018


PRESTONSBURG — Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley said “one nightmare punch” killed an inmate at the Floyd County Detention Center on Tuesday. 

Scotty L. Gibson Jr., 23, of Prestonsburg, is facing a first-degree murder charge for the Tuesday death of Adam Potter, 29, of Prestonsburg. 

First responders were called to the jail at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, following reports of an inmate who was unresponsive. Potter, who had been incarcerated for 32 days, was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

SCOTTIE GIBSON SCOTTIE GIBSON Officials with the KSP Post 9 in Pikeville reported in a press release that they were informed at approximately 2 p.m. about an inmate at the detention center “being injured possibly from an altercation.” 

“The inmate had been transported to Highlands Regional Hospital, and was (pronounced) deceased a short time later,” the press release said.

Dispelling rumors about the cause of Potter’s death, Floyd County Jailer Stuart “Bear”

Halbert and Bartley emphasized that Potter did not die as a result of an extended fight at the jail. 

“There is one fact that I think the world should know, and that is that this was not any type of protracted argument, no protracted fight, anything like that,” Bartley said. “I have personally viewed video and that video shows that essentially there was one punch. One punch that landed, and, unfortunately, it was the nightmare punch that took this man’s life.” 

Bartley said Gibson attempted to strike Potter twice, but he only hit him once on the side of the head, causing him to fall. He would not disclose the specific cause of death issued in Potter’s preliminary autopsy results, but he noted that those results are consistent with what he saw on video. 

“It is the nightmare punch. One punch took a man’s life,” he said. “And that doesn’t make it any less worse than if he give him five punches. But people should know that their lives can change in a snap of a finger, in an instant. In this case, it took the life of one man, destroyed the life of another with one single punch.

“For those out there who appear to think that this was some extended struggle or something, they need to know that’s just not so, and they do need to know that jail staff responded swiftly and appropriately, and made all the right efforts to try to save this boy’s life,” Bartley said. 

He said the jail staff and its medical personnel “responded within seconds” of being informed by inmates that there was a problem. 

He said Potter exhibited “signs of life” prior to his transport to the hospital and “there were efforts to save his life,” but it was not possible. 

Halbert commended his staff for their quick response to the incident, calling it a “bad situation overall for everybody.” 

Bartley said his office has worked alongside the Kentucky State Police, Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner, the coroner’s office and the state’s medical examiner’s office in this investigation. Bartley expects the case to be presented to the grand jury soon. 

Gibson is incarcerated at the Pike County Detention Center where he was taken on June 6 for safety reasons and to prevent any issues with the investigation, which continues under the direction of KSP Det. Jason Dials.

By Mary Meadows
Floyd County Chronicle and Times



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