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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Nailah Franklin: Update

Nailah Franklin, inset Reginald Potts

LATEST UPDATES HERE AND 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.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting today that Reginald Potts, Jr. (see inset photo) is being charged with the murder of Nailah Franklin.

The law holds a man innocent until he is proven guilty, because the government, which prosecutes the crime of murder, has vast resources, compared to an individual defendant who usually has limited resources. Thus, the law places the burden of proving the defendant guilty or not guilty squarely on the government. However, many people in Chicago and elsewhere who have followed the tragic story of Nailah Franklin are probably feeling a little relieved, if bitter, today. Sort of "I knew it all along" relieved. Mostly glad that there appears to be some resolution to this senseless crime.

Nailah Franklin's family and friends deserve great credit and respect for keeping the inquiry alive without degenerating into hysteria. The murder of their daughter, sister, friend, must have torn them up.

Details are emerging, and we will continue to follow up on them and hopefully will be able to keep information on Nailah available and current all the way through the trial.

According to the Trib, Potts was charged when
... FBI officials were able to place his cell phone and Franklin's cell phone in the same geographic location at a time he said he was not with Franklin.
As we pointed out in a previous post, police determined that Franklin was not shot or stabbed. However, they have not stated the cause of her death. Potts was accused by an ex-girlfriend of choking her when she apparently refused to pay a bill for him. Nailah had already talked to a detective about threats apparently made by Potts against her, shortly before her death. Wouldn't that give Mr. Potts some incentive to harm her?

Another curious behaviour of Mr. Potts: shortly after Nailah's murder, and quite a while before the police arrested him, Mr. Potts contacted reporters Annie Sweeney and Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times to protest his innocence of any involvement in Franklin's death. At the time, it seemed strange, given that the Chicago police had explicitly stated that they were not naming Potts as a suspect or a person of interest. Methinks the gentleman did protest too much.

The Tribune's report characterizes the ultimate email exchange between Franklin and Potts with the terse phrase: "... he cursed at her." We read the email that he sent her (although it was so distasteful that we didn't bookmark it), and cursing was the least of it. His email to Nailah was so hateful, disrespectful, hurtful, and outright threatening, it made us feel physically ill. It was the kind of thing that you would send to someone if you really wanted to hurt them. A highly-edited version was posted to this site, if you want to read part of it for yourself. However, bear in mind that it was posted by Potts, and self-servingly omits the most cruel and nasty comments. Given the length and tone of Potts' comment, one can't help wondering whom he's trying to convince.

The Chicago Sun-Times, in its report on the issue, states that Potts' alibi witnesses did not confirm his whereabouts on the day and time of the murder. One can't help but be amazed at the gall Potts showed in giving police a false alibi. Did he think they would not check? Or that they would be as easily fooled by him as the various women with whom he was apparently involved?

Police have refused to discuss a motive for the murder of Nailah Franklin. Also, there is no confirmed report of how she died. AP reports that
... Potts' initial court appearance is set for noon on Monday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse....
Potts is currently being held without bail in Cook County Jail on unrelated charges. He is being charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nailah Franklin. His attorney issued the following boilerplate statement:
"Reginald is presumed innocent," William P. Murphy, Potts' attorney, said Saturday. "We haven't gotten all the evidence yet. We have a long ways to go."
If he truly is innocent, then I wish him well. However, his past actions - including his repeated threats of bodily harm towards women - don't bode well for his defense.

If he is guilty of the murder of this lovely, intelligent, talented young woman, then he should definitely be punished to the fullest extent the law allows. It was a hideous, indefensible crime.

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