When Billy Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth were found brutally murdered inside their home on January 31, 2012, it shocked not just their small-town community but also the entire nation to its core. After all, as carefully explored in A&E’s ‘Murder in the 21st: All In The Family,’ the young couple was thrashed before being shot beside their 7-month-old, and the assailants were people they knew. Amongst them were actually Barbara and Marvin “Buddy” Potter — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about them as well as their current standing, we have got the necessary details for you.
Who Are Barbara and Marvin Potter?
Although not complete natives of Mountain City, Tenessee, long-time married couple Barbara and Marvin had managed to build a good life for themselves in this quaint little area by the early 2010s. That’s because while the former was employed at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (aka HP), the latter was a Vietnam War US Marine veteran turned alleged secret CIA Agent, according to ABC News. However, their daughter Jenelle’s experience was much different, especially as she remained incredibly reserved owing to her diabetes, learning disabilities, plus a myriad of other health issues.
It thus comes as no surprise Barbara and Marvin were quite over-protective when it came to their Jenelle despite her reaching her late 20s by 201 0, only to gradually take it to a whole another level. “Instead of being herself, my parents tried to make her fit in,” estranged sister/daughter Christie Groover told ABC’s ’20/20.’ “They also, in the same breath, would say how different she was, and then [she] became unable to make friends normally.” Social media hence evolved into her support system, yet her parents monitored her every move here too, which is why she kept it a secret once she did finally land a boyfriend through an acquaintance.
But then came a Facebook war, wherein Jenelle was targeted with really harsh words by an anonymous commentator almost daily; they claimed she was bad, ugly, etc., and even threatened to harm her. “I remember I wrote, ‘Please do not write on Jenelle’s Facebook,'” Barbara said, referring to when she decided to intervene due to the emotional distress this cyberbullying was causing her seemingly naive daughter. “I begged them. ‘Please don’t do this.'” Alas, it continued, and the former soon started suspecting fellow local Billie Jean Hayworth as the one behind these attacks, just for her to wind up dead alongside her beau Billy Payne within weeks.
The truth is Jenelle, Billie, and Billy had unfriended each other, yet the animosity between them persisted — at one side, the former claimed this other woman was jealous of her looks; on the other, she was intimidated with a rock bearing this couple’s name in her yard. And since she actually resided with her parents because of health concerns, they got involved too; it turns out her father Marvin (aka Buddy) had killed them as revenge for what she was enduring. According to reports, he was taken in for questioning in early February 2012, where he unwittingly ended up confessing to his wife in a recorded phone call, leading to his arrest for double homicide.
Where Are Barbara and Marvin Potter Now?
While Marvin was being thoroughly interrogated, local officials executed a search warrant on the Potter estate and seized 51 seemingly incriminating items, including bags of shredded documents. In fact, Police records indicate Barbara had even ripped some developed photos while they were there in an attempt to hide them, only for an agent to confirm these were of the victims with friends. As a result of this, alongside statements given by both Marvin as well as Jenelle’s boyfriend, detectives concluded she’d pretended to be a CIA Agent online to goad her loved ones into killing the couple.
Therefore, in August 2013, Barbara and Jenelle were formally arrested without any significant issues or resistance for the murders of Billy Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth more than a year prior. This is also the year Marvin stood trial while the latter’s boyfriend pleaded guilty — Buddy was eventually sentenced to two life terms in prison, whereas Jamie Curd received 25 years without parole. The two women, on the other hand, were tried, convicted, and sentenced to two terms in July 2015 — their trial spanned 7 days, where they asserted they didn’t want anyone to get hurt, but to no avail.
Therefore, with Barbara’s subsequent appeal resulting in an overturned conviction, just for her to then plead guilty to two lesser counts of facilitation of murder to avoid re-trial in exchange for 25 years, all three family members remain behind bars to this day. While 72-year-old Marvin is currently incarcerated at the closed/mixed-security Turney Center Industrial Complex in Only, Hickman County, Tennessee, 71-year-old Barbara is behind bars at the Debra Johnson Rehabilitation Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Her first parole hearing is in June 2028, five years before her sentence is scheduled to end in 2033.