Court date set in arson case

Former firefighter charged with setting fires in Durham goes on trial in January

Former Peterborough firefighter Gregory Potter, 22, charged with setting a series of fires in Durham in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2013, will not be going on trial until next year, according to officials in Stafford County Superior Court.

Potter was indicted by a Stafford County grand jury on Dec. 19, 2013. He is facing five counts of arson for allegedly setting fires at five buildings on Main Street and Smith Park Lane in Durham and one count of falsifying evidence for allegedly deleting photos of one of the fires from his cell phone.

Potter is a former University of New Hampshire student who was visiting friends in Durham on the day of the fires. According to affidavits filed by Durham police, Potter became a suspect after his car, a red Subaru with a Peterborough Fire Department sticker, was spotted parked behind one of the buildings, where a mattress had been burned. After a nearly seven-month investigation, Potter was arrested in September 2013 by Durham police.

Court officials said a dispositional conference held on March 5, where Potter’s case was scheduled for a status conference on Sept. 23, with a pretrial date set for Dec. 17 and jury selection on Jan. 5, 2015.

Potter was initially held on $100,000 bail following his arrest. He was later released on $5,000 personal recognizance with a number of conditions, including that he live with his parents in Jaffrey, abide by a curfew, stay out of Durham and refrain from excessive use of alcohol. Those conditions remain in effect, according to court officials.

Potter, who was living in Peterborough at the time of the fires, was an on-call firefighter and EMT for the town of Peterborough. He was suspended from that job in February 2013, after he was identified as a suspect in the Durham fires, and he resigned from the Fire Department on April 1, 2013.

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