Authorities in Wisconsin say an argument over social distancing restrictions led to the "calculated killing" of a university doctor and her husband who were found shot in the head last week, court documents say.
A jogger discovered the bodies of Dr. Beth Potter, 52, and her husband, Robin Carre, 57, in a ditch at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, an ecological research facility located in Madison. Witnesses told police that they heard gunshots after 11 p.m. the night before. Carre was pronounced dead at the scene, while Potter, was taken to a local hospital where she later died.
Both were shot in the head and left for dead in their house clothes, wearing no shoes.
Investigators quickly identified two suspects through a series of interviews. Khari Sanford, 18, and Ali'jah J. Larrue, 18, were arrested and charged with first degree murder for the "calculated" killings.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Potter was taking medications that placed her at a greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Because of that, the couple decided to put social distancing requirements into place at their home. However, Sanford, who was reportedly dating the couple's adopted daughter, Miriam Potter Carre, refused to follow the requirements, so the couple moved the two teenagers to a nearby Airbnb.
When the teens were being moved to the Airbnb, Miriam reportedly got into an argument with her mother, saying Potter didn't care about her, court documents state.
According to the court documents, Sanford reportedly confessed killing the couple to an acquaintance on March 31, while he appeared "excited and frantic." Sanford allegedly called the second suspect, Larrue, telling him that he'd heard on social media that one of the shooting victims found at the arboretum had been found alive.
"I swear I hit them, how did they survive?" Sanford allegedly asked his friend, the court documents state.
When Sanford hung up the phone, he allegedly told the acquaintance that he'd shot Potter and her husband "in the back of the head."
Prosecutors also allege that a classmate overheard Potter Carre tell Sanford about her parents' "banks of money" and that they were rich, court documents state. Police said that when they interviewed Potter Carre about the night of March 30, when the killing occurred, she told them that she'd stayed at the Airbnb with Sanford and that she'd fallen asleep while watching a movie.
However, prosecutors say traffic cameras spotted a minivan similar to her parents' driving by the crime scene. A forensic search of Potter Carre's phone also revealed that she was not with Sanford at the time, the criminal complaint adds.
Potter Carre has not been charged with anything yet, and a University of Wisconsin-Madison Police spokesman told NBC News that the two primary suspects were in custody.
"However, this is still an open and very active investigation," spokesman Marc Lovicott told the outlet.
Photo: Dane County Sheriff's Office, Getty Images