‘Khari told me to drive’: Alleged accomplice testifies on moments leading up to Aboretum double murder

MADISON, Wis. — Khari Sanford’s alleged accomplice in the murders of Dr. Beth Potter and Robin Carre took the witness stand Friday morning to testify against his long-time friend, saying he had no idea what Sanford had planned on the night of March 30, 2020.

Ali’jah Larrue, who has previously pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder – kidnapping as a party to a crime, testified Friday morning that he thought Sanford just wanted to smoke and drive around town that night before Sanford pulled the white van he was borrowing from his girlfriend — Potter and Carre’s daughter — into the driveway of their home.

Details of kidnapping

Larrue said Sanford told him he had to “run inside real fast,” and left Larrue in the passenger seat of the van while he entered the home. Larrue said about 15 minutes later, Sanford emerged from the house, pointing a gun at Potter and Carre while leading them out of the house and to the van. Carre was in his underwear while Potter was in pajamas, Larrue said.

Testifying that he was scared at that time — both for the couple’s safety and for his own safety — Larrue told the jury that Sanford told him to get out of the passenger seat and to get behind the wheel to drive. Larrue claimed he didn’t try to run at that point because he didn’t know where he was, and he was scared of Sanford at that point, who he said was “talking aggressive.”

Larrue then drove to the Arboretum after getting directions from Sanford. He testified that during the drive, Sanford was questioning the couple about the “life they had going on,” and asked them “Why don’t you care for your daughter?” but cut Potter off every time she tried to answer. Larrue said Sanford had the gun pointed at the couple during the entire drive and was “agitated” the entire time.

RELATED: Daughter: Khari Sanford ‘felt like a slave’ when murdered parents helped couple or set house rules

Shooting at the Arboretum

Larrue testified that Sanford told him to stop at the Arboretum, then demanded Potter and Carre get out of the van. Larrue says he kept watching the events unfold over his left shoulder.

Larrue said he witnessed Sanford lead the couple to a grassy area, before watching Sanford shoot Potter and Carre in the head. Larrue testified that Carre was shot first and Potter was shot second.

Sanford left both in the grassy area before getting back in the van and telling Larrue to drive, ultimately going back to the Airbnb Potter and Carre had rented for Sanford and their daughter. Larrue testified that Sanford told him, “I can’t believe I did it.”

Events after the shooting

Larrue said he and Sanford wiped down the van with baby wipes before going back to the Airbnb apartment, where the couple’s daughter was upset with Sanford after trying to get a hold of him the entire night. Larrue says he sat on the couch while Sanford went into the bedroom to change his pants to shorts. Larrue said he tried contacting family to get a ride home because he was scared, but was not able to get in touch with anyone.

After about 10 minutes, Larrue said he and Sanford went outside to smoke, and that’s when Sanford threw out the clothes he was wearing, as well as cell phones that belonged to Potter and Carre after trying to smash them on the road. Larrue said both phones were thrown into the woods near the Airbnb, and prosecutors played a video of what appeared to be Larrue and Sanford walking close to a wooded area before someone threw something into the woods.

Larrue was arrested on April 3, 2020, and was booked into jail the following day.

Khari Sanford, Alijah Larrue mug shots

Sanford, Larrue

Defense questioning

Sanford’s defense team argued in cross-examination that Larrue testified against Sanford, who he has known since elementary school, in exchange for a lighter sentence. Larrue was previously charged with first-degree intentional homicide but later reached a plea deal on lesser charges of Felony Murder – Kidnapping as a party to a crime. Larrue still faces up to 110 years in prison at sentencing on those charges. Larrue testified that he took the plea to “take responsibility for what I did.”

Larrue said prosecutors did not promise him anything in return for his testimony, and that he still fears what awaits him at sentencing, even if he is in a position to potentially get his freedom back someday.

Prosecutors have said they intend to wrap up their presentation of the case early next week. Sanford faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.