The Grand Jury has sentenced Christopher Matthew Payne to death for the cold hearted murder of his two beautiful children. I ask you, will death really be enough punishment for the pain that this man inflicted on those children or would it be more of a punishment for him to live his life in a small, dark, cell with the memories of what he did to his own flesh and blood to keep him company?
I am not normally a supporter of the death penalty, since a lot of innocent people sit on death row in this country, but in this case, I almost feel that a harsher punishment is called for…more along the lines of cruel and unusual, do to him what he did to his children…that is what a part of me is saying.
Yet, the other part of me thinks that death is too easy of a way out for this piece of shit, that life, locked in a cell with no way out is a harder punishment…let him live with what he did! Surround him daily with their pictures and images, until he goes insane.
Do you think he cares about what he did, do you think he even feels it? Is he one of those people who has no remorse whatsoever…I think he must be a monster, he would have to be to slowly kill his children the way that he did and so I wonder…exactly what punishment is fitting for this murder.
Please share your views on this case…
My other opinion….Arizona CPS should be sitting in the cell right next to him!!!!!
Jury: Death for Tucson father who starved children
By Kim Smith
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.31.2009
A Tucson man convicted of starving two of his children to death in a bedroom closet was sentenced to death today by a Pima County jury.
The jury took five hours over two days to decide Christopher Payne’s actions were so egregious they outweighed any of the 17 mitigating factors cited by his defense attorneys.
According to prosecutors, Payne locked up and began starving Ariana, 3, and Tyler, 4, following the loss of his job in April 2006.
Once they died, Payne stored the children’s remains in garbage bags for months before placing them in a 25-gallon plastic tub and taking them to a storage unit on East Prince Road.
An autopsy revealed Ariana had suffered 12 broken ribs and a broken shoulder bone in the weeks or months before she died.
Jurors convicted Payne of two counts of first-degree murder March 17 and decided last week that the age of the children, the way they died and the fact there was more than one victim warranted a closer look at the death penalty.
During closing arguments Monday, Assistant Pima County Public Defender John O’Brien pleaded with the jury to spare Payne’s life, saying his life still has value, his family loves him and he had a dysfunctional childhood that began when his late mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 8-weeks-old.
“Christopher Payne is a flawed human being. Christopher Payne was not able to overcome the risk factors in his life. Was that a conscious choice? Did he as a young man, as a young boy…..choose to become a killer?” O’Brien asked.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer told jurors discounted many of the “mitigating” factors brought up by the defense, including Payne’s addiction to heroin.
Payne managed to drive while high, call his father for money while high, sell heroin while high and properly care for his youngest son, Chris Jr., while high, Eazer said.
Payne did choose to become a murderer, Eazer said.
“Every day that he locked those battered and broken babies in the closet he chose to become a killer. Every day he didn’t give those children food and water and nutrients, he chose to become a killer,” Eazer said.
The jury’s decision brings to an end a saga that came to the community’s attention on Feb. 18, 2007, when a storage facility manager decided to clean out a unit that hadn’t been paid for for months.
Inside the unit, the manager found a foul smelling 25-gallon plastic tub that she dumped into a trash bin. She called police and they found Ariana’s remains stuffed inside. Police believe Tyler’s remains fell out of the tub and ended up in a landfill.
Payne was tied to the storage unit two weeks later.
Payne insisted the children starved themselves to death once they realized they weren’t going to be allowed to live with their mother.
At one point, Payne told detectives, “They were freaking me out because of how skinny they were getting, and I didn’t want anybody to know that because then they were going to take them away from me for good.”
Payne said he bought, stole or made food he thought would appeal to the children, like Cream of Wheat and pizza, to no avail.
Eventually, Payne said the children became incontinent and looked like “Ethiopians.”
Payne told detectives he performed CPR on Ariana for more than a day and Tyler died about a week later.
The children’s mother, Jamie Hallam, testified she and Payne split up about three weeks after Ariana was born in October 2002. She and the children didn’t hear anything from Payne until December 2005 when he asked if he could see them.
After the first visits went well, Hallam dropped Ariana and Tyler off with Payne on Jan. 20, 2006, for what was supposed to be a weekend visit.
Payne kept extending the visit, however, and when she asked for CPS help in getting the children back, she was rebuffed despite the fact she had sole legal custody of them.
Former CPS caseworker Cindy Graupmann testified she suspected Hallam of child neglect and using methamphetamine — suspicions that were never proven.
Graupmann also admitted she encouraged Payne to seek custody of the children although she’d never met Payne, had not done a criminal-background check on him and or asked him to submit to drug testing.
All those things would have been done if Hallam’s parental rights had been formally severed.
Hallam settled her lawsuit against CPS for $1 million last year. Her case against the Tucson Police Department is still pending.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or email@example.com