Wednesday, August 21, 2013

READ: Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence For Tucson Addict Who Let His Kids Die Of Starvation In Closet

The Arizona Supreme Court today unanimously upheld the death sentence for Christopher Payne, who locked his two toddlers in a closet, where they starved to death.  After their deaths sometime in 2006, Payne stuffed them in bags and hid them in a self-storage unit, although only one small body was found.

In a 44-page opinion (posted below), the Court cleanly rejected the many claimed reversible errors made by public defenders in the mandatory appeal.

Accounts of the 2009 trial were - in the words of a nameless Arizona Daily Star editor - "disturbing". Suffice to say, it is clear that Payne certainly was in the grips of a heroin addiction when he and his girlfriend shut the kids in the closet and starved them.  And, he claimed that his ex-wife was addicted to meth at the time.

The ex-wife sued the Tucson Police Department and Arizona's Child Protective Services for failing to help her recover the children from Payne well before the children are believed to have died.  CPS settled the case for $1 Million, and the case against TPD was dismissed, as the judge found that the officers did not act unreasonably given the circumstances at the time they were called to Payne's apartment.

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