Lawyer's book about 'Facebook Murders' earns censure from TN Supreme Court

    Dennis Brooks (WCYB Archive)

    Tennessee’s Supreme Court issues a censure against Carter County Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks.

    It’s because brooks prosecuted the case and then wrote a book about the three people convicted in the so called “Facebook” murders.

    The state supreme court says Brooks violated rules against conflict of interest and prejudicing justice.

    The censure is a rebuke and warning but doesn’t affect his ability to practice law.

    After the book was published, the supreme court points out, it led to appeals of the murder case and two of the convictions were held up for 18 months pending a decision.

    Eventually those convictions were upheld.

    Barbara Potter and daughter Jenelle were convicted for the murders of Billy Payne, Jr. and Billie Jean Hayworth, a young couple from Johnson County, Tennessee in 2012.

    Prosecutors contend out of jealousy, Hayworth was targeted, and Jenelle Potter convinced her father and boyfriend to shoot and kill the couple. When they were found, Billie Jean Hayworth was still holding an infant son who survived. Testimony in court said that Jenelle was mad because Hayworth and Payne had deleted her from their Facebook account.

    The Potters were denied a new trial in January.

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