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Potter women guilty on all charges, life sentence for both

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer, Photographer

MAY 12, 2015
After deliberating for around eight hours the jury found both Barbara and Jenelle Potter guilty on all charges. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood sentenced both women to two life sentences. One for each count of first degree murder.
A hearing will be held on June 17, 2015 to determine whether the sentences will run concurrent or consecutive. A life sentence mandates a minimum of 51 years in prison.
Emotions ran high as the jury read the verdict with the families and friends of Payne and Hayworth gasping with elation as the jury foreman uttered the word “guilty.” Billy Payne’s mother, Beverly Garland, stated, “We’re still hurting, we’ll always be hurting. You know, Billy couldn’t call me on Mother’s Day. It’s hard.” Of the verdict Garland stated, “It’s finally justice for Billy and Billie Jean.” Garland went on to praise Investigator Joe Woodard and TBI Agent Scott Lott as well as ADA’s Dennis Brooks and Matthew Roark for “always being there for us.”
Both Barbara and Jenelle Potter erupted in tears as their fates passed the lips of the jury foreman and eventually Judge Blackwood. For the prosecutors on the case, it’s the conclusion they’ve been hoping for since the beginning of what ADA Matthew Roark described as the “most emotional case [he] has ever done.”
The Tomahawk will continue to follow this story through the sentencing process for both Barbara and Jenelle Potter as well as Jamie Lynn Curd.

MAY 11, 2015

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