Monday, August 20, 2012
WHY DIDN'T WE PARTICIPATE?
I like watching investigative stories on television, like The Investigators on HLN (Channel 43 on Time Warner) late-night. I've always been interested in forensics, and the old saying: DNA doesn't lie.
Last night I was especially interested to watch the story of a murder that happened in Fayette County, and a prior murder in Scioto County, by an Ohio resident. It's not often that I see stories like this set in Ohio on national tv.
The show started with the in-depth story of a 72-year old Portsmouth woman who was abducted from her home and murdered. They found the murdered woman's body in the woods of a secluded area in Scioto County, along with the mattress off her bed, which was missing from her home at the time of the abduction.
They found that the killer lived somewhere near the Portsmouth area, and later was a semi-truck driver, which is how he came to be in Fayette County on his way to Texas in February 2002. I remember I was working at the Lebanon Correctional Institution at that time. At that prison, we used to receive many inmates that had been convicted of murder in Ohio.
The police followed all the leads and the story progressed to Fayette County after a young girl from Bucyrus was found dead in a wooded area in Jeffersonville near the truck stop.
The prosecutor and many law enforcement officials from Scioto County were interviewed for this crime story. However, when they began the segment about the Fayette County murder link to the killer, no person from Fayette County was on the show. Now I have to wonder if any law enforcement officer or prosecutor from Fayette County was asked to be interviewed for this portion of the show (I'm sure they were). Why would they decline?
Daniel G. Payton, who was already convicted in Scioto County and serving two 30-year life sentences for his previous crimes there, pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty and was convicted in Fayette County of the murder of the Bucyrus girl, and was sentenced to an additional 30-year life sentence by our current judge. Payton was 40 years old when convicted and was given a mandatory minimum sentence of 79 years, and will not be eligible for any parole hearing until the age of 126, according to the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections website (see the link HERE).
I remember reading the story in our local newspaper and found it in the archives in case you want a refresher to the story (click HERE). It is not often, as I said, that Ohio (let alone Fayette County) gets into a national television documentary or crime story. I did see the tv story about the Kehoe Brothers and their shootout with a State Trooper in Wilmington some years ago, and the murder of the Culberson woman, also in Wilmington. But I don't ever recall seeing a story about a Fayette County incident - until this one. Now, why didn't law enforcement here get more involved in the making of the true crime story? A good question to ask sometime.
Final note: Payton was originally sent to Lebanon, and now resides in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.