Wood County man's second trial, conviction upheld nearly 10 years after double murder
WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The capital murder conviction of a Wood County man found guilty twice has been upheld by the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana.
Jason Thad Payne was first found guilty of the December 2007 shooting deaths of his wife, Nichole Payne, and her teenage son in 2010, and was sentenced to life in prison. Three years later Payne's conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
The case was retried in Wood County; Payne was again found guilty in March 2016 and again sentenced to life in prison.
In his most recent appeal, Payne argued three points of error were committed by the 402ndDistrict Court in Wood County: That evidence presented in court was legally insufficient to sustain his conviction, that the trial court abused its discretion when it allowed the state to present evidence related to the character and demeanor of his stepson, and that the trial court erred in admitting a recorded conversation between Payne and his mother in which Payne asked his mother to destroy tapes he kept in his home.
The court denied these points of error, detailed in the court's 35-page opinion released Friday, April 28.
"In this case, although each piece of evidence, standing alone, is insufficient to support a guilty verdict against Payne, when considering evidence in its totality, the jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Payne was guilty of capital murder," the opinion said.
Payne remains in the custody of the Texas Department of Corrections at a Beaumont facility. He is not eligible for parole.