New trial date set for defendants in “Facebook murders”

New trial date set for defendants in "Facebook murders" (Image 1)

Tuesday, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood set a new trial for three people charged in what has become known as the “Facebook murders.”

Barbara Potter, Janelle Potter, and Jamie Curd are charged with first degree murder in the 2012 deaths of Billy Payne and Billie Jean Hayworth.

In October 2013 Marvin Potter, a fourth defendant in this case, was found guilty of the murders.

Marvin Potter is Barbara Potter’s husband and Janelle Potter’s dad.

The four defendants are accused of conspiring to murder Payne and Hayworth at their Johnson County home in front of the couple’s six month-old child, after the couple had “de-friended” Janelle Potter on Facebook, according to prosecutors.

Tuesday all four appeared in court in Washington County.

Marvin Potter’s lawyer filed to have a new trial but was denied.

The other three were in court to find out when their trial will be.

The prosecution has hired a forensic linguist to sort through emails and messages to try and find out if they came from the Potter women.

Barbara Potter’s lawyer Randy Fallin said the defense has also found a linguist expert, but needs more time for her to look over the messages.

“It kind of shows people talking about their involvement. These people did not like each other very much, there was some emails and so forth that the state thinks is damning and we think maybe not so we’ll see,” Fallin said.

According to Curd’s lawyer Casey Sears, a linguistic expert doesn’t apply to Curd, and he has already spent three years in prison.

“That was going to delay things pretty substantially and so keeping in mind that the other co-defendants had not been in custody as long as Mr. Curd he was one of the original ones charged the other two co-defendants were charged later so we were going to sever Mr. Curd out,”

His lawyer wanted to speed up the trial process by separating his trial from the Potter women.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood pushed the trial back to April 13th and ordered all three defendants to be tried together.

Judge Blackwood scheduled eight days for the trial.

Copyright 2014 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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