Trial begins in woman’s murder after 8 year delay

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CHICAGO — Jury selection has finally started for the trial of Reginald Potts Jr, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Nailah Franklin in 2007.

About 100 jurors were in Judge Thomas Gainer’s courtroom today for this selection process.  16 were chosen for this first degree murder trial which is expected to last three weeks.

28-year-old Nailah Franklin disappeared from her University Village condo in 2007.   Her decomposed, naked body was found strangled in a wooded area behind Calumet City business a week and a half later.

Police soon arrested a man franklin briefly dated, Reginald Potts.  Detectives say the now 39-year-old was the last person seen with Franklin at her condo.  The pair were captured on a hallway surveillance camera the day of her disappearance.

Court documents show franklin was scared of Potts and that he got upset after she sent emails to her friends about his past criminal history, including an aggravated battery charge.

Potts allegedly left the victim a voicemail telling her he could “erase her.”

During the trial, prosecutors are expected to rely heavily on cell phone records they say show both the victim and defendant’s phones hitting towers near her condo, the Dan Ryan Expressway and near where Franklin’s body was found.

Detectives say they also found the victim’s car a few blocks from where they say Potts’ friends picked him up at a Hammond gas station the day she disappeared.

The case, which has dragged on for nearly a decade, has been delayed in part because Potts first wanted to represent himself, then several times changed his mind and asked for court appointed attorneys.

Prosecutors also plan to call Potts’ ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend to the stand and will ask them about allegedly being choked during arguments with the defendant.

Since jailed, Potts has racked up several new felonies behind bars including assaulting guards there.  He has since been transferred to the Livingston County jail.

The trial is expected to start at 10:45 Wednesday morning.


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