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"I just wanted him to die": Inside jealousy-fueled steak-knife murder of Nicholas Potts

Photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department. More images below.
Photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department. More images below.

We're learning more about the early Sunday stabbing death of Nicholas Potts just outside of Grand Junction -- a horrific crime witnessed by neighbors awakened by the desperate victim. Lee McDonald has been arrested in the case, and according to a just-released arrest affidavit, the motivation appears to jealousy taken to a bloody extreme.

See also: Lisa Marie Lesyshen enters insanity plea in killing of her nine-year-old son, Asher

Another photo from the scene shared by the Grand Junction Police Department.
Another photo from the scene shared by the Grand Junction Police Department.

According to the Grand Junction Police Department, the incident took place at around 4 a.m. on July 13 near the intersection of Pinon Street and Santa Clara Avenue on Orchard Mesa, part of the Grand Junction metro area.

Presumably, most residents wouldn't have been awake at that time. But the cops say that shortly before his death, Potts, a 27-year-old based in North Miami, Florida, ran from house to house in the neighborhood, knocking on doors and pleading for help as the suspect, McDonald, followed him.

The pair eventually wound up in the front yard of 1254 Santa Clara, where investigators believe McDonald stabbed Potts to death. Police found two knives -- a butcher knife and a serrated steak knife -- on the ground near Potts's body.

What led to this horrific attack? More details can be found in a police report obtained by KREX-TV.

The affidavit quotes McDonald's unnamed girlfriend as saying Potts was in town for a visit, with the three of them hitting several bars in downtown Grand Junction earlier in the evening.

Upon their return home, the woman said McDonald went inside while she and Potts stayed in the car to smoke some marijuana. But shortly thereafter, McDonald reemerged and allegedly began yelling at the pair.

Another crime scene photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department.
Another crime scene photo courtesy of the Grand Junction Police Department.

No word about whether McDonald saw anything happening or simply let his alcohol-fueled imagination run wild. But neighbors told police they heard an argument in which Potts told McDonald he didn't want to fight.

McDonald apparently did. One neighbor reported seeing him head back to the house, then return with "something shiny" -- one of the two knives, in all likelihood. The pursuit and its bloody conclusion followed.

In conversation with the cops, McDonald reportedly explained his actions like so: "I just wanted him to die."

At this point, McDonald remains in custody on suspicion of first-degree murder. He's due in court later this month.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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