By Max Hrenda
Before Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ordered the trial of Marvin Enoch Potter to enter into recess on Monday afternoon, prosecutors were using testimony to paint a picture of the crime scene for the jurors.
As the trial continued Tuesday morning, so, too, did that endeavor.
The state brought several witnesses to testify as to the state of the victims, Billy Clay Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth, before discussing how the investigation led to Potter, one of four people charged with the couple’s slayings.
On Jan. 31, 2012, Payne and Hayworth were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds in their home at 128 James Davis Lane in Mountain City by Roy Stephens, a friend whose mail they had been collecting. Their 6-month-old son, Tyler, was found wrapped in Hayworth’s lifeless arms.
Stephens testified that he arrived at the house on James Davis Lane at around 10 a.m. on Jan. 31 and casually walked in to retrieve his mail.
“We lived in a pretty good community,” Stephens said. “We didn’t lock our doors.”
Stephens continued, saying that, although he noticed both Payne’s and Hayworth’s vehicles in the driveway, there was no apparent activity in the house. After calling out to see if anyone was home, Stephens said he walked into the bedroom, where he discovered Payne’s body on the bed.
“I walked up and touched his arm … to shake him, with no response,” Stephens said. “I realized he was dead. I ran out of the house to tell my wife to call 911.”