By, Lacy Hilliard
Marvin Buddy Potter, who was recently convicted on two counts of murder in the first degree for his involvement in the slaying of Billie Jean Hayworth and Bill Payne, was back in court on Tuesday, October 29 for his formal sentencing hearing.
Potter will serve two consecutive life sentences for his crime. At the hearing, a member of each victims family was given the chance to address Potter. Janie Hayworth Henry told Potter that there is no justification for what he did. She went on to talk about the child the slain couple left behind and how regardless of his parents untimely deaths, the families of Hayworth and Payne will keep their memories alive for their child. Bill Paynes mother, Beverly Garland, told Potter that her son was a kind and loving person and she cant imagine why anyone would want to murder him. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood also weighed in, stating that in all his years on the bench, he cannot recall a case that was more cold-hearted. Blackwood went on to say that Potter showed a shocking disregard for human life in reference to the fact that the couples infant son was left to his fate in the arms of his dying mother.
Though given the chance to speak, Marvin Potter remained silent, as he has throughout the entire trial.
Also discussed in court on October 29 was whether or not the remaining defendants in the case would be tried together or in separate trials. Jenelle Potter, Barbara Potter, and Jamie Lynn Curd all wait to stand trial for their alleged involvement in the Payne/Hayworth case which has been dubbed the Facebook Murders due to a large portion of the alleged harassment leading up to the murders taking place publicly on the popular social networking site. It has not yet been decided whether or not the remaining defendants will be tried together, however Judge Blackwood stated that this will be determined on January 2. Regardless of whether or not the trio will be tried together, the date for the trial was tentatively set for May 12. The trial for the remaining defendants will take place in Washington County, however it has not yet been determined whether or not the jury selected will come from Washington County. Judge Blackwood said that due to the amount of publicity generated from the Marvin Potter trial, it may be necessary to pull a jury from other parts of Tennessee in order to avoid bias.
The Tomahawk will continue to update our readers on this case and will provide full coverage as the remaining defendants in the case stand trial before a jury.