GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a Minnesota man who was celebrating his 23rd birthday near Appleton. The judge decided to make Michael Potts eligible for a supervised release in 50 years, when he’s 77. A jury convicted Potts last month of homicide and 3 other charges in the slaying of Artheddius Peeler of Plymouth Minnesota in October of 2008 outside an apartment complex in the town of Grand Chute.
The defense claimed that a co-defendant, Keith Birr of Appleton, actually pulled the trigger. But witnesses said Birr handed Potts the gun. Authorities said the two argued with Peeler earlier about the noise he was making. They ended the argument, but returned later with a handgun. At Potts’ sentencing, Peeler’s relatives said the pain was still fresh in losing what they called a “teddy bear” of a man. Birr is scheduled to go on trial in August.