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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nailah Franklin: The Plot Thickens

Latest update here. To find all posts about Nailah Franklin, type "Nailah Franklin" in the box at the top left corner of this page and hit RETURN. To find all posts about Reginald Potts, type "Reginald Potts" and do not include his middle initial or honorifics. Thanks.

Well, well, well. It looks as if Chicago's finest have done their legwork well in investigating Nailah Franklin's murder. Chicago police earlier said they had examined video footage from several locations including Franklin's condo and locations near where her body was found.

Yesterday, Reginald Potts Jr., who had briefly dated Franklin, was arraigned before Judge Donald Panarese who ordered him held without bail. Judges usually grant bail unless they believe the accused is a flight risk or a danger to the community. In Potts' case, given his prior conviction for threatening to kill a detective and his family (the detective was investigating Potts), and his history of threatening women with whom he was involved, it's a safe assumption that he is a danger to the community.

Prosecutor Robert Milan, First Asst. State's Attorney, revealed to the Chicago Sun Times that residents of Franklin's condo building identified Potts as the man they had seen lurking in the parking garage and Franklin's hallway on September 16th and 17th. Surveillance videotapes taken from Franklin's condo showed Potts in the building on the 17th and 18th of September.

Building security was apparently called at some point. When questioned, Potts falsely claimed to be a resident and gave a phony name, according to the prosecutor. Subsequently, security called police, but Potts left before police arrived. Police discovered that someone had placed tape over the lock on the garage door, providing access to the building without a key.

Surveillance tapes of the building from 18th September show Potts with Franklin in a hallway. Franklin was last seen alive on September 18th. Potts told police he last saw Franklin on August 27th or 28th. He denied seeing her at all the day she was murdered.

As we suspected, sources have now told the Chicago Sun Times that Franklin was trying to end the relationship with Potts, and not the other way around, as Potts had claimed.

When Franklin emailed friends of hers about Potts' criminal past, he left her a voicemail stating that he "could have her erased." Franklin had told friends she was afraid of Potts and gave a friend her e-mail password "in case anything happened to her," according to the prosecutor. The Chicago Tribune reports that two of Franklin's friends who knew Potts heard a threatening voicemail that he left for Franklin.

On the day that Franklin was murdered, cellphone records show that Potts was within half a mile of Franklin's condo although he claimed that he was not near her building at the time. The records show Potts traveling south on the Dan Ryan expressway around 7 pm, at a time that he was supposedly shopping at Target with his alibi witnesses. Incidentally, videotape taken from the Target surveillance cameras show the alibi witnesses at Target, but no trace of Potts. Later, Potts' and Franklin's cellphones were shown to be at 159th Street in Calumet City where her jewellery and pharmaceuticals were found on a golf course near a lake. That lake was subsequently dredged by police in hope of finding her body. Clearly, her murderer planned to waste precious police time and resources by laying a false trail.

Shortly after that, cellphone records show Potts and Franklin traveling east at the same time to the place where her body was found. She may well have been dead by that time. Potts disposed of her body but kept her cellphone.

Potts then drove Franklin's car to Hammond where it would be discovered some days later. An eyewitness allegedly saw Potts looking into the windows of Franklin's car. He left the car outside an empty house in a residential area. He then called one of the friends with whom he had supposedly been shopping at Target and asked for a ride. The friend picked him up a mile away from where Franklin's car was later discovered. On the journey back to Chicago, Potts called 911 three times, each time hanging up without a word, in order to make police think Franklin was still alive.

The Assistant PD assigned to Potts has told the press that Potts suffered from grand mal seizures. Is this an attempt to establish some sort of defense? That he was in the throes of a seizure when he killed Franklin, and must, therefore, be charged with a lesser offence? Potts is currently facing a charge of first degree murder, and could receive the death penalty. His next court hearing is scheduled for December 28th.

This post was based on reportage from the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS.

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At 6:29 AM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

Good work, PolCat.


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