By Max Hrenda
JONESBOROUGH — Nearly two years after the shooting deaths of Billy Payne Jr. and Billie Jean Hayworth, the first of four people charged in the slayings had his day in court.
On Monday, after his jury had been selected and his indictment read, Marvin Enoch Potter stood with his attorneys and answered as Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood asked him how he would like to plead.
“Not guilty,” he replied.
Potter is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony murder. Also charged in the deaths are Potter’s wife, Barbara, daughter, Jenelle, and Jamie Lynn Curd, each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The case received national attention — going so far as to be dubbed the “Facebook Murders” by members of the media — because, at the time of Potter’s arrest, authorities said they believed he killed Payne and Hayworth because they removed his daughter, Jenelle, from their “friends” list on Facebook.