The case of Jenelle Potter, the woman who was accused of starting a Facebook war that ended in murder of a Tennessee couple, will be the focus of tonight’s ABC 20/20.
ABC 20/20 is always bringing you the best in news topics around the US. In tonight’s episode, ABC viewers will learn about a Facebook murder that occurred in 2012. The shocking murder left 36-year-old Billy Clay Payne and 23-year-old Billie Jean Hayworth dead. And the worst part of it — their 8-month-old baby was found still lying in the arms of his dead mother. The tragic case rocked the entire town of Mountain City, Tennessee.
Investigators say the Facebook murder all started because the couple de-friended Jenelle Potter, a former Facebook friend who became “too much to deal with” on social media. Instead of accepting the defriending like an adult, police say Potter whined to her father, Marvin “Buddy” Potter, leading him to fatally shoot the couple in their own home. The case went cold after police were unable to establish any leads. But police were able to get a break about a month after the murders, which led to the arrest of 60-year-old Marvin Potter and an accomplice, 38-year-old Jamie Lynn Curd, who was said to have either dated Jenelle Potter or had an interest in dating her.
Police say in January 2012, an argument on Facebook prompted Billy Payne and Billie Jean to delete Jenelle Potter as a friend. Prosecutors say that Jenelle was so hurt over the unfriending that she became bitter and wanted to seek revenge. She began by severely harassing the couple on Facebook, leading them to file a complaint with the local police. All this did was anger Jenelle Potter even more. The situation became so bad that Jenelle began using fake profiles and playing mind games on social media. But when she complained and lied to her father, Marvin Potter, that the couple was harassing her, he decided to get a little country justice for his precious girl by arriving at the couple’s Mountain City home and killing them at close range, according to ABC News.
A person who found the Tennessee couple dead stated that he saw the baby breathing. The coroner deduced that the mother had been holding her baby in her arms when she was shot. The baby appeared to have been crying for hours by the time help arrived, according to the Johnson City Press. It’s a tragic situation that didn’t have to happen. And it was all because of two lonely women who had nothing better to do, according to the prosecutor in the case. In the end, Jenelle Potter and her mother, Barbara Potter, were also arrested and convicted in the murders. They are currently serving life sentences.
People in the town of Mountain City, Tennessee, have been talking about this case for years. Many people knew the Potter family well and stated that Marvin Potter had a reputation for telling people that he was a war hero. He was also known to do anything for his daughter. Jenelle Potter was known to have spats with people in the town, later reporting them for harassing her. As for the couple who was killed, the gossip around the town was that Billie Jean Hayworth wanted to distance herself from Jenelle completely. Some also stated that the harassment from Jenelle was so bad that many times there were arguments between them in the stores around town.
The prosecutor stated that 30-year-old Jenelle Potter (also spelled Janelle) still lived with her parents, who treated her like a teenager. At the time that she stirred up all the trouble, she was at home every day because she had some health problems. She also had no job. Jenelle Potter’s Facebook page has been wiped clean. But ex-friends of Jenelle’s say that her page was once filled with angry rants that were always directed to someone on Facebook. She also spoke of shooting guns and made many posts related to her illnesses. The Facebook murder case will also be covered on Nancy Grace. Catch an all new ABC 20/20 tonight at 10/9 central.
[Photo Credit: YouTube]