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Jurors Deliberating in Connection With Cortland County Murder Case
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Jurors Deliberating in Connection With Cortland County Murder Case
The Cortland County jury weighing the fate of a Cuyler man accused of murdering his wife last July will resume their deliberations this morning.
 
Jurors spent nearly 4 hours Wednesday considering the facts and pondering the evidence in the murder trial of 44 year old Keith Pottorff.
 
During their review jurors requested to rehear testimony Pottorff gave on Tuesday on how he came to posses 53 year old Janet Pottorff’s jewelry. Pottorff is accused of strangling the woman on or about July 17th and leaving her tied up in a shed behind the couple’s home on Dog Hollow Road in Cuyler. Janet’s body was found on July 20th by State Police investigators who went to the home to search the property after Pottorff gave them permission to do so. The woman had been reported missing by coworkers after Keith called her in sick to work on two separate days, one of which was her day off.
 
Jurors also asked to rehear testimony from two people who were with Pottorff in the hours and days after the murder. Specifically the jurors asked to have the testimony of Santo Oliver and Nicole Willis regarding Pottorff’s whereabouts on July 18th read back to them. 
 
During direct testimony Tuesday, Pottorff admitted he took his wife’s jewelry and check book and used her bank account to buy cocaine and psychedelic mushrooms as well as tickets to the Grass Roots Music Festival in Trumansburg. Police located him there on July 20th, he claims his wife threw the checkbook and jewelry at him before he left home because she was angry that  he was going to the festival, but she agreed to allow him to go because he was checking into a drug rehab program the following Monday.
 
During closing arguments Wednesday, County District Attorney Mark Suben said there was only one reason Pottorff took the jewelry and checkbook and drained the woman’s bank account, it was because he had already killed Janet and knew he would never have to answer to her again. Suben portrayed Pottorff as an admitted liar who only tells the truth when he is forced to.
 
Pottorff’s Defense Attorney Ira Pesserillo implored jurors to find his client not guilty and raised questions of why police never pursued any other potential suspects including Pottorff’s brother Andrew.
 
Deliberations resume this morning we will bring the verdict as soon as it’s announced.
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