Evidence in Pottorff Murder Trial Shifts to Use of Dead Woman's Checking Account
Testimony resumed Monday in the murder trial of a Cortland County man accused of killing his wife last July and leaving her body in a shed at their home while he used her checking account to go on a drug fueled spending spree.
Yesterday jurors heard testimony from two people who were with 44 year old Keith Pottorff in the days before and after he’s accused of killing his wife 53 year old Janet Pottorff.
Santo Oliver and Nicole Willis who both have extensive criminal history’s including drug convictions both talked about using drugs with Keith Pottorff including cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms.
Willis told jurors that during the week of the murder Pottorff began acting increasingly strange and seemed preoccupied.
Willis said she went to Pottorff’s home the week of the murder and did not see Janet or notice anything unusual at the house. Willis admitted she initially lied to police during the investigation because she was scared of getting into trouble for using drugs while she was on probation for a felony D-W-I charge.
Pottorff is accused strangling his wife, her body was found on July 20th, pathologists believe she was killed at least two days prior to being found at the couple’s home on Dog Hollow Road in Cuyler.
Willis said she asked Pottorff why he was using his wife’s checks at various businesses around town, he allegedly told her that he forgot the access number to his bank account and his wife was aware that he was using her checkbook.
Previous testimony from coworkers indicated Janet was trying to get her finances in order by working extra shifts at the hospital where she was a nurse, she had recently sought to have her truck and their home placed in her name for financial security purposes. Janet also is reported to have told co-workers that she was trying to get Pottorff into a drug rehab program because he had returned to abusing drugs.
Jurors watched surveillance footage Monday showing Pottorff at several gas stations and stores making purchases with his wife’s debit card.
Later jurors heard testimony from a New York State Forensics Investigator who searched Pottorff’s bags after he was located at the Grass Roots Music Festival in Trumansburg, he told jurors about finding earrings and two rings in the bag, the jewelry was later identified as belonging to Janet.
Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case today and then the defense will present their witnesses, the jury could get the case by midweek, if he is convicted of the murder charge Pottorff faces 25 years to life in prison.