#Missouri 15-year-old sentenced to 25 years for fatally shooting younger sister


A Missouri 15-year-old has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting his younger sister.

Tristan Potts was 13 years old when he murdered his sister Teresa (Tressa) Potts in the front yard of their adoptive parents’ Jasper home.

The teen, who was certified to stand trial as an adult, pleaded guilty in December. He was sentenced Monday for second-degree murder, armed criminal action and attempted first-degree arson.

When first responders arrived in Oct. 2015, Tristan had fled into the woods as Teresa suffered from gunshot wounds to her head and right shoulder. He was eventually found near a shop building behind the house, not far from where investigators found two handguns, Jasper County Detective Chris Carriger previously testified.

Potts’ hands tested positive for gunshot residue, officials said.

Authorities also believed Potts intended to set the family’s home on fire before running away to Georgia. Carriger found the home in a “messy disarray,” he said, with gunpowder scattered throughout several rooms. Officers also found about 500 bullets hidden in two skillets in the kitchen.

A psychologist who interviewed Potts and testified at his adult certification hearing said he was “socially immature” with low self-esteem, the Joplin Globe reported. The doctor pointed out that he appeared to be angry, particularly with his adoptive family.

As part of Potts’ sentence, the judge assigned the teen to a program in which juvenile and adult sentences are simultaneously imposed. The adult sentence is suspended while the inmate goes through treatment and vocational training.

When Potts turns 21, the court will determine whether he will remain behind bars.


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