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Testimony concludes in trial of man accused of 2007 murder

Testimony finished Monday in the murder trial of real estate investor Reginald Potts, who is accused of strangling ex-girlfriend Nailah Franklin in 2007 after she threatened to reveal his criminal past.

Potts, who has acted as his own attorney for several stints during the eight years since he was charged with killing Franklin, opted not to testify. His defense team put on a handful of witnesses Monday, including a friend who said he and Potts were running errands on the day prosecutors allege Potts murdered Franklin and hid her body behind a Calumet City strip mall.

Prosecutors noted that the friend, Aaron Allen, had never come forward to law enforcement to offer an alibi for Potts in nearly a decade since Franklin’s body was discovered, and twice refused to speak to investigators from the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Reginald Potts is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. | Photo courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

Allen gave a detailed list of errands he and Potts completed, including taking Potts to a Bentley mechanic and dropping Potts at a relative’s house in Hammond, Ind., that was just a few blocks from where Franklin’s car was found.

Allen said he had been friends with Potts since high school, and spoke regularly with Potts and Potts’ relatives while authorities were searching for Franklin, and after Potts was arrested for killing the pharmaceutical sales representative.

Assistant State’s Attorney Fabio Valentini questioned whether Allen had ever discussed how Allen could have provided evidence that could have exonerated Potts.

“In all these conversations … with his sister and his family, and him, for the last eight years, it never came up?” Valentini said. “This incredible coincidence that you drove him down to Hammond, Indiana, and dropped him off two blocks from where her car was found?”

“It was insignificant information to me,” Allen replied.

The prosecution rested their case Friday. Jurors could hear closing arguments and begin deliberations on Tuesday.