The sentence is less than the 86 months — or 7 years and 2 months — that prosecutors requested. Potter’s attorneys argued for a lesser sentence, pointing to her lack of a prior criminal history and remorse for Wright’s death.
Potter will be required to serve two-thirds of her sentence in prison, according to state law. With good behavior, she will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining third.
Prior to sentencing, members of Wright’s family asked the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said Potter was a “police officer that took an oath to serve and protect for 26 years.”
“But not on this day. On this day, she did not protect,” she said. “She failed Daunte, our family and our community.”
Potter apologized to Wright’s family, saying, “I am so sorry that I brought the death of your son, father, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew, and the rest of your family.”
“I’m sorry I broke your heart,” she added.
“It must always be remembered first and foremost that this case is about the death of Daunte Wright,” the memo said, describing the young father as a “living, breathing human being, who loved, and was loved by his family and friends.”
Under Minnesota law, an offender convicted of two or more charges from the same act is sentenced on their most serious conviction. The maximum penalty for first-degree manslaughter predicated on reckless use/handling of a firearm is 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.
However, under the state’s sentencing guidelines, a judge has discretion to sentence convicted offenders with no prior criminal history, like Potter, to between roughly 6 and 8 and a half years in prison.
Potter has been incarcerated since her conviction at a correctional facility in Shakopee, about 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis, according to records from the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Officer said she mistook her gun for Taser
“Holy sh*t! I just shot him,” she said, per the video, adding, “I grabbed the wrong f**king gun, and I shot him.”
Potter resigned from the police department days later.
“Accidents can still be crimes if they occur because of recklessness or culpable negligence,” Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Erin Eldrige said in her closing argument. “It’s not a defense to the crimes charged.”
Potter’s attorney Earl Gray argued the former officer was within her rights to use deadly force to protect a fellow officer, who was reaching into the vehicle when Wright attempted to drive away.
“I was very distraught. I just shot somebody. I’m sorry it happened,” she said after a prosecutor asked about her behavior following the shooting. “I’m so sorry.”
The jury ultimately found Potter guilty after deliberating for about 27 hours.
CNN’s Theresa Waldrop and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.