What was already expected to be an unusually long sentencing hearing got off to a slow start Monday, when convicted murderer Reginald Potts refused to participate.
Potts objected to both the projected length of the hearing at the George Leighton Criminal Courthouse — three days — and the fact that cameras are permitted in the courtroom for the case.
“It appears the sentencing hearing is to be politicized,” said Potts, referring to the multiday, televised hearing as a “circus.”
Cook County Judge Thomas Gainer warned Potts that he’s jeopardizing his own defense. When Potts said he didn’t want his family and other supporters to be on camera, Gainer tried to reassure him that he has yet to rule on that issue.
“I may very well decide that none of them are going to be photographed,” Gainer told Potts.
Potts then left the courtroom.
“We’ll be in recess until Mr. Potts is ready to come out,” Gainer said.
Potts returned a few minutes later. Prosecutors then spent the remainder of Monday afternoon calling witnesses who testified about Potts’ criminal history, which, among other things, includes multiple convictions for car theft.
Potts was found guilty in November of killing pharmaceutical representative Nailah Franklin, a former girlfriend. Franklin’s body was found in a shallow grave in Calumet City in 2007.