James Potts

COALPORT – Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw, Jr., announced today that charges have been filed against three men for the unlawful shooting of two dogs and related charges.

Shaw identified the Defendants as: 1) William Cochran, age 33, of Coalport, Pennsylvania; 2) James Potts, age 18, of Fallentimber, Pennsylvania; and 3) Joseph Brown, age 23, of Fallentimber, Pennsylvania.

On October 21, 2019, Trooper Matthew Peacock, of the Pennsylvania State Police, Woodland Barracks filed Criminal Complaints charging Potts with: 1) Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, F3; 2) Terroristic Threats, M1; 3) Simple Assault, M2; 4) Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2; 5) Intimidation of Witness, M2; 6) Cruelty to Animals, M2; and 7) Criminal Conspiracy to Commit these Offenses.

Similar Complaints were filed against Cochran and Brown charging: 1) Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, F3; 2) Conspiracy to Commit Terroristic Threats, M1; 3) Conspiracy to Commit Simple Assault, M2; 4) Conspiracy to Commit Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2; 5) Conspiracy to Commit Cruelty to Animals, M2; 6) and Intimidation of Witness, M2.

William Cochran

An Affidavit of Probable Cause filed with the Complaint provides that on September 5, 2019, at approximately 1:13 am, the three Defendants and a female went to a residence on Oak Ridge

Road in Jordan Township, Clearfield County. Upon arriving the Defendants got out of their vehicle wearing bandannas covering their faces. The Defendants walked to the porch of the residence and confronted a female occupant. Potts pointed a shotgun at the occupant and demanded that she get on the ground. The female occupant became afraid and released two dogs from the home for protection. Potts shot and killed both dogs. On October 2, 2019, State Troopers interviewed a witness who reported to observing the shooting. The witness further indicated the Defendants’ said to keep your mouth shut or we will hurt you and your family.

On October 21, 2019, Trooper Peacock filed the Criminal Complaints with Magisterial District Judge James Glass and obtained warrants of arrest for the three Defendants. Shaw reports that Cochran and Brown have been arrested on the warrants and are currently incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail. Potts remains at large and the State Police are actively searching for him. Anyone with information of Potts’ location is asked to contact authorities.

Joseph Brown

Shaw said he was pleased with the progress made by the State Police to identify and investigate criminal activity in and around Coalport. Shaw said his office is committed to working with the State Police to put an end to criminal activity in the Coalport area. Shaw explained “we know who is causing the issues and we know what is going on in the area.” Shaw said the investigation continues and further arrests will occur.

Anyone with knowledge or information about a crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at (800)-376-4700.

All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime”.


1 (800) 376-4700

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