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Potter sues Sardis officials for wrongful death of son
Diane Potter, the mother of a former Sardis police officer, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit for more than $1 million in compensation for the 2013 death of her son.
According to the lawsuit that was filed Tuesday, Potter claims Sardis police officer Mark Cates used unnecessary force on former officer D’Wayne Burke during a reportedly burglary at the Sardis Police Department resulting in his death.
The lawsuit states that when Cates returned to the police department on the morning of June 10, 2013, he noticed the door had been kicked in to the department’s evidence room.
The report says Cates called for back up from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office to begin clearing the building, and upon entering the file room saw former officer Burke allegedly in possession of an ax and wearing a mask.
Cates and the deputy claim Burke tried to come towards the deputy with the ax and that is when Cates says he fired a shot at Burke hitting him in the back.
Cates filed the shooting as an act of self-defense to protect the deputy.
An autopsy report on Burke ruled that the cause of death was a gunshot wound. Potter is seeking damages of $1 million in the case.
Neither Potter nor her attorney Lloyd Murray could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon about the lawsuit.