True Crime

Woman posing as CIA agent convinces family to kill young couple

Jenelle Potter allegedly convinced her parents and boyfriend to kill a couple whom she says were bullying her online
ABC 20/20

A Tennessee woman was convicted of first-degree murder after allegedly posing as a CIA agent to fool her father into killing a couple she fought with on social media.

Billie Jean Hayworth, 23, and Billy Payne, 36, were found shot dead in their home in 2012. Hayworth was holding the couple’s 7-month-old baby when she was murdered The Sun reports. The baby was unharmed.

Jenelle Potter, 34, was found guilty in May in connection to the shooting, after prosecutors argued that she created a fake identity online, posing as a man named Chris who worked for the CIA.

Ms Potter denies the allegations, telling ABC’s 20/20 that she “never wished them dead”. 

She says she was the victim of online bullying and believed that Hayworth may have been behind it.

“I didn’t hate [Hayworth and Payne]. I just disliked them. I wanted [them] to quit. I wanted the harassment to stop,” Ms Potter tells 20/20.

“I was a bad person. I was horrible. [They] threatened to get [me] raped.”

When police called upon Potter’s boyfriend, Jamie Curd for questioning, he failed a lie-detector test and when he asked “Is the CIA here?”, police knew there was something more going on.

Curd then admitted to killing the couple but says he was encouraged to do so by a CIA operative by the name of Chris, saying Ms Potter’s life was in danger.

Police charged Curd as well as Janelle’s father, Marvin ‘Buddy’ Potter with first degree murder.

Police later uncovered hundreds of messages between Ms Potter’s parents, Curd and the man named Chris.

Ms Potter denies that she is behind the account but police say all the emails from him to her family originated from her IP address.

“[My mom and Chris] would write emails all the time back and forth, and she would tell me about him,” she continued.

“And we were trying to figure out who he was. My dad even tried to meet him places, try to talk to him.’

“Every one of them pointed straight back … to Barbara and Janelle’s home address,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent Scott Lott told 20/20.

Sources: News Corp and ABC

This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.

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