March trial date now set for man charged in murder of Fernandina Beach pet sitter

Shawn Whigham was indicted on a charge of 1st-degree murder in the death of Colleen Potts. He’s pleaded not guilty

Shawn Whigham appears during a virtual hearing Tuesday. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

A trial date is now set for March for a man indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of a Nassau County pet sitter, but there could still be delays.

Shawn Whigham’s lawyer told a judge on Tuesday that he’s set two mental competency evaluations for later this month.

Another consideration is the fact that the case was assigned to the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office because of a conflict. A relative of Whigham’s works for the Nassau County State Attorney’s Office.

The prosecutor in the Whigham case is Jennifer Dunton, who’s also the prosecutor in the trial of Aiden Fucci, the St. Johns County teenager accused of killing 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey. Dunton told Nassau County Judge James Daniel on Tuesday that the Fucci case is set for trial in February and could be a long one.

Last month, Whigham’s trial was tentatively scheduled for February, but Daniel on Tuesday set March 6 for Whigham’s trial.

Whigham, who appeared for Tuesday’s virtual hearing, is being held in the Nassau County jail without bond, according to online jail records.

Whigham, 48, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the October death of 73-year-old Colleen Potts.

In addition to being charged in Potts’ death, Whigham was also indicted on a charge of armed burglary and armed burglary with assault.

Whigham, the original police report states, was interviewed on three occasions and provided conflicting statements during the first two interviews. It states Whigham admitted to fabricating details of prior statements and that he confessed to stealing about $300 out of Potts’ vehicle in October.

According to investigators, Whigham also admitted to entering a home on South 13th Street in Fernandina Beach a day later, when the home was left unoccupied, and searched the residence for items to steal.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department said that Whigham admitted to entering the residence with the intent to steal on Oct. 24 and that he encounter Potts in the living room. Investigators said Whigham admitted to shooting her, grabbing her purse and fleeing the home.

This photo of Colleen Potts was provided by a family member. (News4Jax.com.)