UW-Madison arboretum killings, man sentenced to life in prison

Khari Sanford (May 2022)

The man convicted in the fatal shooting of a University of Wisconsin physician and her husband in the school's arboretum was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday without the possibility of parole.

Khari Sanford abducted Dr. Beth Potter, 52, and Robin Carre, 57, at gunpoint from their Madison home on March 30, 2020, and took them to the UW Arboretum where he shot both of them in the head. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the slayings.

Sanford, 21, had been living with his girlfriend – the couple's daughter – in their home until tensions rose over coronavirus precautions. That prompted Potter and Carre to temporarily rent a place for Sanford and their daughter until they could find a permanent apartment.

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During sentencing, Dane County Circuit Judge Ellen Berz told Sanford she didn't know if he would ever "evolve into a person who cares about other human beings, will not harm or kill them," the State Journal reported.

"What I do know is that currently, you have utter disregard for human life, and the public, anyone in the public, no matter how kind they are to you, no matter how generous they are to you, no matter how much they try to help you, they are at risk of being killed by you," the judge said.

Dr. Beth Potter

Sanford told the judge that Potter and Carre saw his potential and took him in. He said the couple's daughter, Miriam Carre, had shown him for the first time in his life a world of "unconditional love."

"If taking my life is what it takes to repay them, to resolve the grievances of this beautiful family and define justice, I will be honored, your honor. Take it," Sanford said.

Ali’jah Larrue, Sanford’s friend who was with him when the couple was killed, pleaded guilty to felony murder last year. He testified that he did not know Sanford planned to kill the couple. He has not yet been sentenced.