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Murder charges bound over for Jonesboro man

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

A Clayton County Magistrate Court judge ruled, Thursday, that there was probable cause to bind over to Superior Court, the case of a man accused of killing his stepfather, stealing the victim's car, and stealing a gun from a neighbor's vehicle.

Judge Bobby Simmons presided over the case of Wallace Anthony Payne, 47, who is charged with murder, aggravated assault, entering an automobile, and theft by taking.

The incident occurred Dec. 8, 2010, at a residence located at 8325 Dunellen Lane, in Jonesboro.

Payne, also known as "Tony," allegedly shot 76-year-old Bobbie Lewis Roark in the head with a small caliber gun, and left him in the residence with the doors locked, according to a warrant for Payne's arrest.

A Clayton County warrant affidavit said that, after Payne allegedly shot Roark, he took his stepfather's 2006 Toyota Camry, and left him without medical assistance.

Roark succumbed to his injuries, on Jan. 7, according to the Clayton County Police warrant affidavit.

Payne's defense attorney, Kevin Schumaker, of the public defenders office, said in court, on Thursday, that his client would not proceed with his bond hearing, which was scheduled for today.

Clayton County Detective Joanne Southerland testified that the victim told the emergency room doctors that "Tony did it."

Prosecutor, Clayton County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney, Bill Dixon, asked Southerland "when you say that he did it...[you mean that he] did the shooting?"

"[Roark said] that "Tony" had shot him...Tony being identified as the defendant, Mr. Payne," Southerland clarified.

Schumaker objected, and questioned how Southerland knew that "Tony" was indeed Wallace Payne.

"Upon my investigation, family and friends said that the only "Tony" that the victim knew was the defendant," Southerland explained, on the stand.

According to Southerland, in July 2010, Payne stole a gun with a holster from a neighbor's car.

"Mr. Payne went down the street to a neighbor's house...[Payne said that] he needed a gun, and wanted a gun," she testified.

The neighbor later went to his vehicle and found that the gun was missing, Southerland said.

She added that Union City Police later apprehended Payne and discovered two letters, .22 caliber bullets, and a gun holster.

According to Southerland, the bullets used in the shooting, were consistent with the type of bullets used in the .22 caliber revolver which was taken from the neighbor.

"The holster did belong to the [neighbor's] gun...," she said.

Southerland explained, on the stand, that fragments of the .22 caliber bullets were found, in Roark's head.

Testimony, in court, also revealed that two letters were also found in the vehicle.

"Mr. Payne dated it [one of the letters] and apologized for what had happened," said Southerland. "He didn't say I'm sorry I shot my dad in the head," she added regarding the contents of the letter.

Schumaker asked the witness if there was any clear indication in a separate letter, written to Payne's girlfriend, about the alleged murder, or any of the crimes which occurred.

Southerland said that there was no indication of the murder in the letter.

He asked, the witness, if there was any other evidence found in the vehicle, which would indicate Payne as the killer.

Southerland said no, and added "not that I have not already mentioned [referring to the bullets and gun holster]."