DEDHAM (CBS) – Two brothers charged in the beating death of a Bridgewater father pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon in Dedham Superior Court. Christopher McCallum died after trying to break up a fight outside an American Legion Post in January.
The brothers, Matthew and Steven Potter, are the sons of retired Quincy Police Detective Richard Potter. Both were arrested Tuesday. Matthew is charged with manslaughter, among other assault charges, while Steven is only charged with assault.
McCallum was 44 years old and a father of three who lived in Bridgewater with his family. He had gone to the bar at the American Legion Nickerson Post on Moon Island Road on January 26 with his brother to see a band perform that night. According to his family, he was punched in the face as he tried to break up a fight on the way out, was knocked down, hitting his head, and was pronounced dead the next day.
Quincy Police handed the case over to State Police early in the investigation because of a possible conflict of interest.
“The victim was immediately very, very ill, unconscious, struggling to breathe. The defendant, Matthew Potter, was seen within and arm’s length of Christopher McCallum,” prosecutor Lisa Beatty.
However, Matthew Potter’s lawyer said his client is actually a victim himself.
Steven walked out of court on his own after paying $1,000 cash bail, while Matthew’s bail was set at $20,000. They are due back in court in January.
Steven Potter has been an EMT with Boston EMS since 2017. He was placed on administrative leave Wednesday. “Boston’s emergency medical professionals are committed to helping those in need, often through life saving measures, and we have no tolerance for behavior that goes against this mission,” Boston EMS said in a statement.
McCallum’s family members, including his wife and oldest son, packed the courtroom on Wednesday.
“Everything he did was out of love for everyone else,” Ryan McCallum said. “He was never violent in any way, just so loving toward everybody – great guy.”
“Because this story should not be Chris’s, it shouldn’t be,” said McCallum’s wife, Kathy McCallum.
“No matter how this ends, we are the ones with the life sentence,” she added.