John Payne, who pleaded guilty last month to murdering his mother and his girlfriend in 2010 will have to sit in prison for 25 years before he can be considered for parole.
The bodies of Cornelia Gayle Mullins, Payne’s mother, and Meredith King, his girlfriend, were discovered in early December 2010, days after they had been shot and killed in a Richmond home. He was arrested Dec. 4 that year at a Berea motel.
On Wednesday, Madison Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue accepted a plea deal Payne, 39, reached with prosecutors and sentenced him to two life terms without possibility of parole for 25 years.
The sentences will run concurrently, as will three 20-year sentence on charges of theft, escape and being a persistent felony offender.
One side of the courtroom was packed with relatives and friends of the victims, most of them wearing pink T-shirts with a photo of the two slain women.
Three relatives and one friend, as well as Payne, spoke before the judge imposed sentence.
Rather than face the judge to address the court, the four women who spoke, while fighting back tears, faced Payne as they spoke, often pointing fingers at him.
Michelle McCarthy, who said Mullins had been her best friend, told Payne he had blamed his mother for eveything that had gone wrong in his life, even his mother’s death.
Payne had promised his dying father he would look after his mother, but 10 months later he killed her, she said.
“Your mom and Meredith didn’t deserve what you did to them,” McCarthy said.
King’s daughter, Say’lene Denny, told Payne whenever the parole board considered his release, she would be there to oppose it.
He also would have to face God’s judgment someday, she said.
Stephanie Bays, King’s sister told Payne he had taken “the two people who loved you most out of this world,” and she hope he never saw the light of day outside of prision.
Sharlene Evans, King’s mother, said she believed those who cannot forgive will never enter heaven, and she told Payne she would forgive him because she didn’t want him to deprive her of a heavenly home.
As the four women had asked him to do, Payne said he accepted responsibility for the deaths, and apologized for the pain he had caused their friends and loved ones.
“I’m not asking for your forgiveness,” he said. “I pray that God will bless you.”
Logue said there was nothing she could add to the comments already made. Because prosecutors had reached the plea agreement in consultation with the victims’ relatives, the judge said she saw no reason not to accept it.
Outside the courthouse, as a cold, driving wind cause the draw chain to beat against the flag pole, friends and relatives of the victims released pink and purple balloons.
While no one can ever get over the murder of a loved one, Evans said, the sentencing did provide some measure of release, which was symbolized by the balloons.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 624-6690.
Ineligible for parole for 25 years
- Local News
Register hosting open house Tuesday
The Richmond Register is inviting the public to an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at its 380 Big Hill Ave. office.
In addition to being an opportunity for readers and customers to meet the newspaper’s staff, the open house is a way for the Register to say “thank you” during the holiday season, said publisher Ann Laurence, who joined the newspaper about six month ago.
Mayfield teaches community about ‘Christmas Around the World’
Hallmark needed third-grade Mayfield Elementary students to create holiday cards to teach the community about Christmas traditions around the world, their teachers told them.
With this fictional challenge in mind, students went about researching, creating, assembling and selling their own custom-made Christmas cards over the past nine weeks. The proceeds from the card sale will help fund a trip to the Louisville Zoo in April.
Christmas party at the library
The Madison County Public Library hosted its annual Christmas party Saturday at the Richmond branch. Children and their families enjoyed visits with Santa, ornament making and hot chocolate. Each child received a book as a gift.
Holiday Happenings Annual Craft Show
The Holiday Happenings Annual Craft Show hosted more than 20 booths at Richmond City Hall on Saturday. Visitors browsed throughout the morning and afternoon, talking to crafters and purchasing their jewelry, handmade soaps, candy, paper products and many other items.
Pet Photos with Santa
The Madison County Humane Society, Animal League for Life had its annual Pet Photos with Santa on Saturday at the Madison County Public Library in Richmond. The event raises money for the nonprofit, which runs solely on donations. Photos were taken by J and K Kreations.
- Register hosting open house Tuesday
Model senior Darrien Botts gets fouled by Sayre’s Gabby Bowie in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 58-24 win over Model Saturday.
H.S. BASKETBALL: Model fall to Lady Spartans, 58-24
The Model Laboratory Lady Patriots simply had no answer for Sayre’s 6-foot-3 center, Gabby Bowie Saturday in a 58-24 loss to the Spartans.
H.S. BASKETBALL: Southern falls to Pulaski County, 81-73
The Eagles couldn’t put together a late rally Saturday against Pulaski County at the Jackson County Classic.
OVC BASKETBALL: Big games always fun for the ‘Little Guys’
Since arriving at college, I’ve had the opportunity to play in a lot of big games.
The best ones are when we go up against the bigger schools, usually on the road, going into hostile stadiums.
- H.S. BASKETBALL: Model fall to Lady Spartans, 58-24
- Lifestyles & Community
Boost your energy without caffeine
When your energy level starts nose-diving in mid-afternoon, do you reach for a cup of java or that canned energy drink for help?
If so, you’re like a growing number of American men and women. In one recent USDA report, women in their 30s consume about 165 milligrams of caffeine each day, but by age 50, the daily average climbs to 225 milligrams.
While the cup of daily coffee isn’t bad ― the antioxidants in java are good for you ― a half dozen cups a day can be. Not only that, it’s like putting a bandage on the problem. Instead, combat your fatigue with these energy boosters.
- Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
- ’Tis the season for giving
- Boost your energy without caffeine
The Case of the Unhappy Robber
Norton, a professional burglar, looked upon himself as a kind of Robin Hood. The difference was that he took from the rich and kept it for himself. As a result, he spent more time in the slammer than he did in Sherwood Forest.
The toughest blow he suffered, however, was inflicted by the commissioner of motor vehicles. Upon Norton’s release from jail for the umpteenth time, the hard-hearted commissioner revoked his driver’s license.
- Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
- SOAR-ing in eastern Kentucky
- The Case of the Unhappy Robber