TDOC officer fired for interfering with Facebook murders case

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The corrections officer accused of interfering with the Facebook murders case is out of a job, according to a Tennessee Department of Correction’s termination letter provided to us today.

As we reported Wednesday, the corrections officer at the Tennessee Prison for Women sent a letter to a judge overseeing the cases of Barbara and Jenelle Potter before he decided the future of the women’s appeals. In her letter, Maria A. Jackson assured the judge the Potters could never kill someone.

We’ve since learned, as a result of an internal investigation, the warden dismissed Jackson.

“Officer Jackson during the investigation you admitted to developing a relationship with two inmates…that extended beyond that of an acceptable relationship between employee and offender,” Warden Gloria Gross wrote in the dismissal letter. “You admitted to calling both inmates’ attorneys from your personal phone, advising the attorneys that both inmates’ health issues were not being taken care of by prison staff, as well as passing on information regarding the delays in their appeals. Additionally, you admitted to spending excessive amounts of time discussing both inmates’ criminal cases as well as pending appeals and writing at least three letters of personal referral to parole boards and judges in order to request four different inmates release from prison…Furthermore, you admitted to knowing that you were putting your job in jeopardy by writing the aforementioned referrals.”

The letter says the officer was still in her probationary period of employment at the time of her dismissal.

A jury found Barbara and Jenelle Potter guilty of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of Bill Payne and Jean Hayworth in Johnson County. A judge recently upheld their convictions.

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