Johnson County

Day two of 'Facebook murder' trial ends

Potter Trial Day 10-8-13

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - The double murder trial against a Johnson County man continued on Tuesday.

Police say Marvin Potter killed Billy Payne, Jr. and Billie Jean Hayworth in Mountain City, Tennessee after authorities say the couple de-friended his adult daughter on Facebook.

The prosecution was making its case on the second day of the trial. The emotions in the courtroom were still high.

Day two brought several witnesses, a recorded conversation between the Potters and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents, and an interview with Potter after he was arrested.

Four witnesses were called to the stand Tuesday by the prosecution. The first witness called was Karen Cline-Parhamovich, the state forensic pathologist, who told the court the couple's cause of death. "Mr. Payne [was killed by] a gunshot wound and sharp force injuries of the neck. For Ms. Hayworth, it was a gunshot wound to the head," she told the court.

She said there were no defensive wounds found on either of their bodies.

The prosecution then called Brad Osborne, who worked with Payne and rode with him to work every day. Osborne also told the court he would occasionally buy pain pills from Payne, four or five at a time. "He was actually seeking help [for pain pill addiction]. He was going to a clinic to try to get off of them," Osborne said.

But family members tell us that isn't true."I knew my sister too well. I knew Bill well. They didn't do anything like that unless it was a prescription," Billie Jean's sister Beverly Morrell said. "That was it, but as far as anything else, no."

The next witness was Roy Stephens, who occasionally stayed with the victims and found their bodies. "I walked up and touched [Payne's] arm about right there to shake him and no response," Stephens said on the stand. "I backed up and said, 'No, no, no, no,' and I realized he was dead."

The prosecution then played an interview between police and Potter after he was arrested for the murders, where he holds onto his innocence. "I did not kill Billie Hayworth," he said on the tape.

The prosecution is expected to continue to call witnesses on the third day of the trial.

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