The murderer ‘let his diversity shine over oppressive systems’
This Wednesday 09-07-22, Khari Sanford will be sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court for the execution-style slaying of Dr. Beth Potter and her husband Robin Carre.
“They were murdered by a person they had tried to help,” their memorial obituary reads.
Khari Sanford was 18 years old on March 30, 2020 when — some time after 10:40 p.m — he entered the Carre-Potter’s home on upper middle-class Rowley Avenue, about six blocks from the University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall football stadium. Using the Volkswagen minivan the couple had lent him, Sanford and his convicted accomplice Ali’jah “Hunch” Larrue took their captives on a circuitous route to the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. There, not far off the Vilas Park entrance, Sanford forced the two, still wearing their bed clothes in the March cold, to their knees.
With his powerful Glock .357 SIG semi-automatic handgun, Sanford shot Robin once behind the left ear at close range, execution-style. He shot Beth twice, once in the upper arm, once in the back of the head. Perhaps she had struggled. During the 26-minute drive to their execution, one can only imagine how Beth and Robin tried to dissuade the young man from his deadly deed, to remember their many kindnesses, to promise more favors.
“It was calculated, cold blooded and senseless,” the chief of University of Wisconsin Police said at the time.
Shocking and puzzling, too, since the murdered couple had given every consideration to Sanford, a young black man in a romantic relationship with the Carre-Potter’s daughter Miriam, whom the white couple had adopted out of an orphanage in Guatemala.
In the immediate hours after his deadly deed, Sanford attempted to cash out the dead couple’s ATM cards. A form of reparations, perhaps. Payment for the dead couple’s white privilege and the larger society’s institutional racism, it could be argued. Because Khari Sanford certainly identified as a victim. He posted on his Facebook page a few months before the murders. (Source here.)
“We gon’ change this world, cause it’s time to let our diversity and youth shine over all oppressive systems and rebuild our democracy.”
She treated victims
Dr. Potter practiced family medicine at Access Community Health Centers’ Wingra Family Medical Center on S. Park Street, only a few blocks from where her body was found. The coronavirus pandemic had locked down much of normal activity beginning in March 2020. That had special relevance to the physician; she was susceptible due to her practice and the medications she was taking.
Beth and her husband had allowed Sanford to live at their home on Rowley Avenue (but not sleep in the same room) but the young people refused to observe social distancing. To compensate, the generous couple set Khari and Miriam up with their own household and loaned them their minivan.
But that wasn’t enough. Shortly before school was canceled in March 2020, a fellow student in ceramics class at West High School — ceramics class! — told police investigators he overheard Miriam and Khari plotting how how they could get money. The classmate reported hearing Miriam tell Sanford that her parents had “bands” of money and that they were rich. On March 8, Miriam e-mailed to Sanford a self-photo he had taken earlier pointing his Glock at the camera.
A terrible foreboding
Late the afternoon on the day she died, Beth Potter took a walk with a friend (identified in the criminal complaint against Sanford as LG). According to that complaint:
LG advised they talked about work and talked about Beth Potter’s daughter, Miriam Potter Carre and her boyfriend Khari Sanford. … LG reports that Beth Potter had told her that her daughter was saying things as they were moving out such as, “You don’t care about me” and “You don’t talk to me”. … LG said according to Beth Potter, Miriam and Khari Sanford literally sat in her bedroom all the time and ordered food and didn’t really communicate with Beth Potter. LG thought more bad stuff was going on but Beth Potter didn’t tell her. LG said Beth Potter doesn’t usually get frustrated, but was clearly frustrated during their conversation.