Sentencing hearing for Reginald Potts, found guilty of murdering Nailah Franklin, begins Monday

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Reginald Potts, 38, was found guilty in November of killing Nailah Franklin in 2007. (WLS)

The sentencing hearing for Reginald Potts, convicted of murdering Nailah Franklin in 2007, began Monday and was delayed briefly after his protests about cameras in the courtroom.

The judge had ruled that cameras could be present in the Cook County courtroom for the proceedings. However, as the hearing was scheduled to begin, Potts, 38, objected to the cameras stating, "I don't want to be a part of this" calling it a "continuing sensationalization and publicity of this case."

In November, a jury found Potts guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Franklin, a young pharmaceutical representative who he briefly dated.

Franklin, 28, had broken off the relationship and was seen alive at her University Village condo on September 18, 2007. Following an extensive 10-day search, Franklin's badly decomposed body was found in a wooded area in Calumet City behind a vacant video store owned by Potts' brother-in-law.

Potts, who was a successful businessman at the time, was arrested shortly afterward.

Franklin had warned friends that she was afraid of Potts before her disappearance. While no physical evidence was ever found linking Potts to Franklin's death, prosecutors presented a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including threatening phone calls and emails, as well as surveillance video showing Potts in Franklin's building the day of her disappearance. Potts' history of domestic violence against previous partners was also introduced.

On Monday, witnesses testified about Potts' criminal background. Dale Reed, A former police officer from Carbondale, Ill. testified that Potts admitted to him and the FBI his involvement in drug trafficking while in prison.

Richard Nitacca,a maintenance worker testified about Potts hitting him and how he had witness Potts mistreating a woman.

John Feely, a former prosecutor, testified that Potts is believed to have forged two letters on States Attorney's office letterhead as Potts was convicted of stealing nine vehicles.

The sentencing hearing is expected to last another 2-4 days. About a dozen witnesses are scheduled to talk about Potts' criminal background and then Franklin's family is expected to address Potts.
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