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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crime: The Trial of Reginald Potts

Nailah Franklin

The Chicago Sun-Times recently reported recently that Reginald Potts' jailhouse lawyering skills might be having the effect that he desires. So far, Mr. Potts has had four different judges assigned to him for the trial. Reginald Potts is on trial for the murder of Eli Lilly sales representative Nailah O. Franklin, with whom he had a brief relationship. We believe that Ms. Franklin discovered things about Mr. Potts that made her uncomfortable and when she communicated the information to others, and threatened to have Mr. Potts jailed for stealing from her, Potts murdered her.

The current judge, Nicholas Ford, has recused himself on the grounds that his wife previously represented Mr. Potts in a trial. Hardly surprising, I suppose, given Mr. Potts' extensive criminal record. Judge Ford was assigned and recused himself on January 15. Judge Marcus Salone, who had been assigned to the Potts case on January 11 apparently also recused himself because Potts' sister is a probation officer working in Judge Salone's courtroom.

Previously, Potts' case had been assigned to Judge James Linn for trial. However, the prosecution objected to Judge Linn, so the case was transferred to Judge Salone.

Potts was supposed to be assigned a new judge on Thursday, January 17th. However, to date, no information is available as to whether such assignment took place.

Potts has requested a gag order on the prosecution. Given how much Potts has been yawping, in all fora, we consider that pretty damn cheeky of him. Apparently, so did the prosecution:
In [a] handwritten motion [requesting the judge to impose a gag order on the prosecution], Potts said [prosecutor] Milan, a candidate for state's attorney and the No. 2 person in the office, "may attempt to boost his public image and gain momentum for his campaign by giving press conferences about this case." Potts said he's worried that publicity will make it hard for him to get a fair trial.

Assistant State's Attorney Maria McCarthy responded: "The irony is no one has spoken to the press more than Mr. Potts." Ford did not rule on the motion.
Is Reginald Potts smarter than he seems, or stupider? Is he seeking to represent himself just to ensure that the trial gets dragged out as long as possible? Is he hoping to ensure that he can get off on some trivial technicality?

To date, the county coroner's office has not issued a definitive report on how Ms. Franklin died, except to state that she was neither shot nor stabbed. We note that previous newspaper reports indicated that Mr. Potts had attempted to choke or strangle one of his girlfriends. We speculate he might have strangled Ms. Franklin.

For ongoing coverage of Ms. Franklin or Mr. Potts, please type "nailah franklin" or "reginald potts" in the white text box at the top left corner of this page. Then click "Search Blog" next to the text box.

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