MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison mother hopes to collect the funds needed to bail out her teenage son from the Dane County jail as he awaits trial in connection to two homicides.
Ali'Jah Larrue, 18, is charged with being an accomplice in the March killings of prominent Madison physician Beth Potter and her husband Robin Carre. Larrue maintains he was unaware of 19-year-old Khari Sanford's plans to kill the couple after Potter and Carre were kidnapped from their Madison home. Authorities say Sanford was the gunman in the fatal shootings.
Alice Larrue says her son has never been arrested or even cited for any wrongdoing before. She claims her son tested positive for COVID-19 in the jail and has struggled physically and mentally in the facility.
"I would love to have him home," Larrue tells 27 News. "If it just means him going back and forth to court, being here with us," she says. "There, I worry about his safety, his health, everything," she said.
Ali'Jah Larrue's bail is $1 million.
"I think that's entirely too much," Alice Larrue says. "I could see if he had a violent past or something. He's just 18. No arrests, period, no nothing. I don't think that's fair at all," she says.
Larrue's charges include two counts of first degree intentional homicide, party to a crime. Sanford's charges are identical, with the exception of having a criminal enhancer for carrying out the killings with a dangerous weapon. Both teenagers face mandatory life sentences if convicted.
Authorities say Sanford was romantically involved with the daughter of Potter and Carre.
They say Sanford and the girl had talked about robbing her parents, who had recently evicted the couple from the family home.
Although before the eviction, the girl's parents found them a new apartment and gave them a van to use.
Larrue filed court motions requesting to be tried separately from Sanford, and to be allowed to build a defense around his claim Sanford planned and carried out the killings.
Alice Larrue says she was aware of Potter's work as a physician and mourns the deaths of Potter and her husband. "I'm hurt about that," Larrue says. But she says her son is not responsible for the violence. "He don't even know these people," Larrue says. "That's not him."
Authorities say pings from Larrue's cell phone place him at the scene of the kidnappings on the night they took place and later in the UW Arboretum, where the victims were found.
Alice Larrue has been active in the recent, protest movement to reform police practices with people of color and aspects of the criminal justice system. Last week, activists marched to the Dane County jail and posted bail for more than a dozen inmates.
Larrue says she's working with Freedom, Inc. and other community groups in trying to raise her son's bail.
"I have different people I can work with to support bonding him out," she says.
Larrue says while her son's current bail amount is likely unattainable to post, a lowering of bond to $500,000 or less could change what's possible. Ali'Jah Larrue's attorney, Michael Covey says he's exploring the possibility of seeking a bond modification.
Larrue's incarceration did not stop his mother from hosting a high school graduation party for him earlier this month at James Madison Park. Alice Larrue says attendees wrote cards of congratulations and encouragement to her son, which she mailed to the jail. "Still show him everybody cares," Larrue says.