The wrongful conviction of Jason Payne

Jason Payne is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a crime he did not commit.

On December 11, 2007 in the town of Quitman, Texas two people were shot to death. Nichole Payne, wife of Jason Payne and her son by a previous marriage, Austin Taylor Wages.

The lead detective in the case Lt. Det. Miles Tucker of the Wood County  Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of Sgt.Noel Martin, a Criminologist with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office to do a crime scene reconstruction. After doing a thorough and extensive examination of the crime scene, and a rigorous examination of the autopsy report and evidence Noel Martin, the only forensic expert at the crime scene issued his findings: Homicide Suicide. This came as a surprise to Det. Tucker who felt that Martin, a fellow police officer and prosecution expert witness would issue a finding that would support his theory of a Double Homicide.

And so begins the saga of how the police and prosecution, in a “rush to judgment” built a forensic and circumstantial case filled with holes, and based on lies and innuendos to convince a jury that the crime was a double homicide committed by Jason Payne.

This case demonstrates when police target a suspect and refuse to look at all the evidence and consider other possibilities, a person like Jason Payne can be wrongfully convicted.  A terrible injustice was done in this case and to Jason Payne. It is time to correct this wrong and set it right.


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