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Friday, January 04, 2008

Reginald Potts: Part One

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 continued hearing on Reginald M. Potts Jr's case resulted in a grand jury indictment in the September 2007 murder of Nailah Franklin. The court advised Mr. Potts against acting as his own attorney. However, Mr. Potts, who seems to think that his cunning which has permitted him to avoid serious punishment for his various crimes over the past years, is worth more in a trial for his life than years of training.

He insists on defending himself, and the court has permitted him to do so. Apparently, Mr. Potts is not happy with his public defender. Mr. Potts also argued to the judge, against his counsel's advice, that he was not being permitted to contact a private attorney, and that he has sufficient funds to afford a retainer.

We, at this blog, understand that when a man is on trial for his life, he must secure the best possible representation. Public defenders try their best, but they are terribly overworked and underpaid, and might not have the criminal trial experience that a private attorney might have.

However, our interest was piqued by Mr. Potts' representation that he has sufficient funds to retain private counsel. The last time he was in court, Mr. Potts claimed he was unemployed and indigent. Where did he get the money? Criminal defense attorneys don't come cheap.

The prosecutor denied Mr. Potts' claims that he had been on lockdown 23 hours a day and not permitted to use the telephone except in the very early hours of the day. The prosecutor also claimed that Mr. Potts has made hundreds of calls during work hours.

Prosecutors like to win their cases, and most are not above, er, stretching the truth. However, if the prosecutor cannot back up claims, she might find the judge inclined to rule for the defendant.

In any event, Judge Donald Panarese, before whom the hearing was held, declined to address Mr. Potts' claims and referred him to his coming hearing next Thursday before Chief Justice Paul Biebel, at which time Mr. Potts' trial judge will be assigned. At that time, Mr. Potts can broach the subject of his jail privileges. Judging by his comments so far, he undoubtedly will.

WBBM has the details.

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