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Elmira/Corning

Truxton murder trial underway

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Truxton murder trial underway
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The trial of a man accused of his wife's brutal killing is underway in Cortland. Keith Pottorff is charged with second degree murder. Prosecutors say he bound and killed his wife, then left for a music festival. Tamara Lindstrom has more.

CORTLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Prosecutors say it was a raging drug addiction that led to the death of Janet Pottorff, 53, last July.

It began as a missing person case. Janet's co-workers at the Cortland Regional Medical Center, where she was a nurse, became suspicious after her husband, Keith Pottorff, called in sick for her two days in a row. The second was a day she wasn't scheduled to work.

The case turned to a murder investigation after police found Janet's partially clothed body hog-tied in a shed at the couple's home. Keith Pottorff was charged with her murder.

On Wednesday, jurors watched a lengthy police interrogation with Pottorff that began after detectives picked him up at the Grassroots Music Festival in Trumansburg. Officers asked Pottorff where his wife might be. Pottorff said he hadn't seen her since he left for the festival and that she had been ill the two days prior and he called in sick for her.

Pottorff admitted he and his wife had argued over his drug abuse, but said the couple had made up. He said she agreed to him going to the festival as a kind of "test."

During the interview, Pottorff made multiple calls to the couple's home and Janet's cell phone, asking her to pick up and call him back.

During the interview, police discovered Janet's body. Pottorff denied any knowledge of the killing.

The defense says Pottorff is innocent and was targeted by police.

The prosecution will continue to call witnesses Thursday. If convicted, Pottorff could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

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