Nailah Franklin was 28-years-old when she went missing in September 2007. Ten days later, a police officer found her naked, asphyxiated body behind a vacant video store in Calumet City, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The store belonged to her ex-boyfriend Reginald Potts’ brother-in-law, Mahmoud El Skeikh, who gave Potts a key since Potts was then in real estate and El Skeikh had hoped to turn the property into a strip mall.
Potts was arrested for the murder of Franklin. After a delay of eight years, Potts had his trial (he insisted on representing himself until a judge assigned a public defender to him) and a jury found him guilty. There was no physical evidence linking Potts to Franklin’s death but the Cook County State’s Attorney introduced Potts’ history of domestic violence. Potts, who was sentenced to life in prison, says he’s innocent. “I liked the way my life was going. I would not have thrown that away,” Potts said. “I stand before you, and I say that I am innocent.” Dateline NBC will air its investigative report on March 18 at 10pm.