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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reginald Potts: What A Tangled Tale

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.

From Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune comes the details of Reginald Michael Potts Jr's arrest record. And it's not a pretty sight:
  • 2005 - 3 years Probation for Intimidation case in Lake County (01CF-1794). Details: In June of 2001, Defendant (Reginald Potts) was being investigated in several cases (of car theft according to some reports). Defendant spoke directly to the victim, a Highland Park Police Detective and told him,“I will blow your brains out and your family’s brains out. Your family will never be safe. You’re going to feel the end of my .45.”

    A warrant was issued for Defendant’s arrest. After Defendant was arrested, he escaped from federal custody. Note:He was at large for two weeks during which time he made taunting calls to the police. He was subsequently recaptured.

  • 2003 - 2 years IDOC on an Aggravated Battery of a Peace Officer (02CR-1166). Details: Defendant was an inmate in Cook County Jail. Defendant punched the victim, a Deputy Sheriff, in the face. After this incident, Defendant stated in the presence of more than one Sheriff, that when he got out of jail, he was going to kill a certain Lt. and his entire family.

    Consecutive to:

  • 5 years IDOC on a Class 1 PSMV (01CR-521). Details: Defendant was in custody on this case when he committed the aggravated battery on the Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy. In this case, Defendant was found in possession of a $100,000 Mercedes stolen from the Motorworks Dealership in Barrington earlier that day. After being put in lock-up, the defendant kneed a detention aide in the groin.

  • 2002 – 30 months IDOC on Obstruction of Justice in Iroquois County

  • 1997 – convicted in 4 separate aggravated PSMV cases and sentenced to 7 years IDOC concurrent on all cases. Details: In those cases, on multiple occasions during the Spring of 1996, the defendant was found to be in possession of cars totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from dealerships throughout Cook County. In one case, five days after the defendant was released on bond in Atlanta, he re-stole the Mercedes from the police pound in Atlanta. Six weeks later, using yet a different name, he took the car to an auto shop in Chicago, where it was recovered by police.

    3 Misdemeanor convictions:

  • 11-26-07 – Defendant PG to counts of Violation of Order of Protection. Details: The victim was his former girlfriend. Defendant was sentenced to 100 days in Cook County Jail. He is currently serving that sentence.

  • 2004 - 6 months CCJ on an assault

  • 1997 - 180 days CCJ on a theft

    5 cases pending:

  • Aggravated Battery of a Peace Officer, Maywood. 11-26-07. Details: While in the main lock-up at the Maywood courthouse, Defendant repeatedly kicked a lock-up cell door causing it to remain open after being ordered to stop this activity. Cook County Sheriff’s entered Defendant’s cell and ordered Defendant to turn around and put his hands on his head. Instead, defendant struck the victim Sheriff in the face. Defendant kicked a second Sheriff in the knee.

  • Battery and Resisting a Peace Officer, Maywood. 10-30-07. Details: Defendant refused to comply with County Sheriff’s Deputies’ request to put his cell phone away while in a courtroom. Defendant was asked to step out of the courtroom and place his phone on the ground. Defendant refused to put the phone down. Defendant then resisted arrest by striking the victim Sheriff several times in the chest and stomach. Defendant told the victim “F--- you. Touch me so I can sue you.” NCD 12-21-07.

  • Assault of gas station attendant in Chicago and Battery of a maintenance man in a condo building in Chicago. NCD: 1-9-08 in Branch 43.

  • Violation of an Order of Protection in DuPage County. Victim in that case is the Defendant’s ex-wife.

    In addition, the defendant has used multiple aliases and social security numbers when arrested in the past.
We all know that there are police officers who deliberately provoke incidents or mistate facts especially if they don't like the defendant. However, most police officers are simply trying to do their job, and it's a very stressful job. We've found that the police, just like any other group of people, has its bad apples and its good eggs.

It's always possible that Reginald Potts has, through a run of unbelievably bad luck, encountered the worst cops on the force. However, given his demonstrated fondness for lying and manipulation, we could probably safely bet that he is a manipulative career criminal who instigated repeated violent interactions with the police, who, of course, are only too happy to oblige anyone who wants to fuck around with them.

Looking at his interactions with the women in his life, who, unlike the police, actually like or love the guy and are smaller, weaker, less able to whup his butt, he certainly seems like a violent, controlling, bad-tempered bully. So what was a lovely talented intelligent professional woman like Nailah doing with this all-time loser?

I don't think she expected him to be the psychopathic loon that he is. She was raised in a very loving and close-knit family, and from what we can tell, her siblings are all educated, successful, middle-class professionals. She had no way to assess just what kind of monster Reginald Potts really was.

Now we're well aware that Potts has not yet been convicted of the murder of Franklin. But even if he is ultimately proven to be completely innocent of that crime (and we have our doubts), he is still a bully and an arrogant, deceitful, manipulative, conscienceless jerk.

Nailah called him on this, and that made him angry enough to attempt to destroy her reputation and her life. In fact, we can't help but wonder if the emails leaked over the internet tell the real story at all. We're guessing that he never told Nailah anything about himself until she found out. When she ran the criminal check she found out about the convictions. At that point, she would probably have been very angry. He acknowledges that she found out and was furious that she had to hear it from someone other than him.

We suspect that after finding out about the criminal record, she then started to find out about the other women. She probably tried to break it off then. She sent him a furious email stating that she was angry with him over his comments to mutual friends and his flirting with her friends. She was also angry that she had trusted him enough to have unprotected sex with him, and he had lied to her, and stolen from her (videotapes depicting sexual acts).

At that point he decided to write her that nasty email. Even if it contained no truth, by circulating it to his friends and family, he was damaging her reputation and hurting her feelings. Things had started to fall apart for Mr. Potts. First one, and then the other of the two mothers of his children filed restraining orders against him. His divorce had occurred fairly recently and there were child custody issues. His ex-wife filed for child support. His condo association filed suit to collect outstanding fees. His house was in foreclosure, there were bills to be paid, and Nailah was threatening to send him back to jail.

It's doubtful that he kidnapped her at gunpoint from her house. More likely, he turned on the charm, talked about dinner or a weekend together, offered to carry her laptops, walked her past the security guard in her building, and then drove her to some distant location where he murdered her.

However he got his hands on her, what he did was unforgivable. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty. A member of her family has stated that the death penalty was too lenient for Potts' crime. His next hearing is on the 28th of this month, so we should know by then how things in this case will go.

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