Opening Arguments Set For Today in Cuyler Man's Murder Trial
A jury has been selected in connection with a Cuyler man’s murder trial, opening statements are scheduled for this morning.
Jury selection in Pottorff murder trail wrapped up around 4 o’clock last night, the panel includes nine women and five men
44 year old Keith Pottorff is accused of strangling his wife 53 year old Janet Pottorff to death on July 17th in the couple’s home at 5769 Dog Hollow Road.
Pottorff appeared in court Monday clean shaven wearing a white button down shirt and gray pants, he is facing a five count indictment charging him with second-degree murder, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, forgery, and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
State Police were called to the Pottorff’s home on July 20th for a missing person investigation.
Co-workers of Janet Pottorff had contacted police after she did not come to work at the Cortland Regional Medical Center where she was employed as a nurse. Pottorff’s co-workers became suspicious after Keith Pottorff had called in sick for his wife.
During hearings last summer a co-worker’s testified that the woman had confided that Pottorff had been using drugs and had been stealing money from her to support his drug habit. The co-worker also said there was some evidence of domestic abuse in the relationship including Mrs. Pottorff coming to work with a black eye.
On July 20th investigators searched the Cuyler property and found Janet Pottorff’s partially clothed body in a shed behind the house, the woman’s hands and feet were tied and she was found with a bag over her head.
A pathologist determined that she was killed two days prior and she had either been strangled with some sort of cord or possible by placing bags over her head.
Keith Pottorff was later found at the Grass Roots music Festival in Trumansburg. During questioning at the State Police barracks he admitted his cocaine usage and that he and his wife had argued over it. Investigators also found jewelry in Pottorff’s bag that was later identified as belonging to Janet Pottorff.
Pottorff is also accused of using his dead wife’s bank debit card at various businesses and cashing a $975 dollar check from her account at First Niagara Bank. Pottorff has denied any involvement in his wife’s death and insists she was alive when he left for the concert.
Pottorff has previous convictions of burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument; he served state prison time in connection with those charges. If he is found guilty of the murder charge Pottorff faces 25 years to life in prison, he is currently being held without bail. The trial is expected to last two weeks.