A Genesee man entered a plea in Potter County to a charge of attempted murder in the first degree for shooting a 91-year-old relative with whom he had an “antagonistic history.”
Court records show that John Thomas Polen IV, 22, entered an Alford plea — meaning he maintains his innocence but acknowledge there is enough evidence to convict him.
Polen was accused of firing one shot at Turner Polen on June 15, 2018, causing wounds to the elder man’s right shoulder blade and right cheek.
A jury trial had been scheduled to begin June 17 — two days after the one year anniversary of the shooting — but court records indicate President Judge Stephen Minor accepted entry of the Alford plea on June 13.
Two felony counts of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person were dropped as part of the plea, court records stated.
Potter County District Attorney Andy Watson was not immediately available for comment on Monday.
Wellsboro attorney William Hebe represented John Polen.
Court records filed at the time of Polen’s arrest stated that at 1:14 p.m. June 15, his mother called 9-1-1 and reported that her son shot Turner Polen.
John Polen’s parents related to police that Turner Polen drove past their resident at 221 Corcoran Road, parked along the road and got out of his car. John Polen retrieved a gun from the hutch in the kitchen and stepped outside through the front door, and he could be heard yelling, “What are you doing here” several times before the sound of a gunshot could be heard.
According to the criminal complaint, John Polen told police that he said to Turner Polen not to come near him and asked three times what the older man was doing there as he pointed the gun at him and turned off the safety.
When Turner Polen reached across his body, John Polen pulled the trigger, firing one shot, court records alleged.
After the older man fell, John Polen went back to the residence. There were no weapons recovered from Turner Polen, the records stated.
John Polen’s father told police there had been an “antagonistic history with the victim,” according to court records.
Polen remains in Potter County Jail without bail. No sentencing date was available.