MOUNTAIN CITY — Emotions were high among family members but kept under control in Sessions Court on Wednesday as Marvin Enoch “Buddy” Potter Jr., 60, and Jamie Lynn Curd, 38, made their first appearances on the two counts of first-degree murder each man is facing.
Potter was upset after Billy Clay Payne Jr. and Billie Jean Hayworth deleted his adult daughter as a friend on Facebook, authorities said Wednesday.
The victims had complained to police that Potter’s daughter was harassing them after they deleted her as a friend on the social networking site, Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said Wednesday.
The men are charged with the shooting deaths of Payne and Hayworth at their residence at 128 James Davis Lane on Jan. 31. Both victims were shot in the head and Payne had his throat cut. When the bodies were found, their 6-month old baby was found in his dead mother’s arms.
The arrest reports on Potter and Curd include affidavits from Special Agent Scott Lott of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation which indicate Potter “did shoot both victims in the head, causing their deaths with intent and premeditation.” Lott’s affidavit on Curd’s arrest warrant indicates he “aided in the commission of the homicides.”
A TBI news release said Payne and Hayworth had been involved in an Internet and telephone dispute with Potter’s daughter. The couple had filed a complaint of harassment in Sessions Court last year.
Potter and Curd were quiet and subdued during their brief appearance before Judge William Hawkins. Curd asked for a court-appointed attorney and Potter said he was in the process of hiring an attorney.
Because Potter was still in the process of hiring an attorney, his hearing was continued until Feb. 15. Curd was allowed to file a request for a public defender, but Hawkins noticed Curd reported he owned property that had been assessed by the county at $250,000 and owed only $9,000 on it. Hawkins said because of those assets, Curd must hire his own attorney.
Curd said he did not have much cash immediately on hand, so Hawkins did appoint R.O. Smith of the 1st Judicial District public defender’s office to represent him during his arraignment.
Assistant District Attorney General Matthew Roark asked Hawkins to increase the bond on Curd from the $200,000 it had originally been set to at least $750,000 or to no bond. He based his argument on four factors. He said Potter’s daughter was Curd’s girlfriend and if he was released on bond he would impede the investigation. Roark also said several firearms were found at Curd’s residence and he was a danger to society. Roark said because of the seriousness of the crimes, if Curd is released “we will probably never see him again.”
Smith said Curd was not a flight risk because he had deep family connections to the community.
“His family ties go way back and he certainly has strong ties to the community,” Smith said. Those ties include working full time in the community before his arrest. Smith said Curd told him it was just a rumor around the county that Potter’s daughter was his girlfriend. He denied the relationship.
Roark countered by saying the relationship had been discussed in a previous court case.
Hawkins set the bond at $750,000 per count, for a total bond of $1.5 million. He said the preliminary hearing in Curd’s case for March 21.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.