Convicted murderer’s mom charged with attempted witness tampering

Posted 10/25/16

A mother will do almost anything to protect her children but Jewel D. Payne is now being held on $250,000 bond in the Wood County Jail, charged with taking that motherly love too …

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Convicted murderer’s mom charged with attempted witness tampering

Posted

A mother will do almost anything to protect her children but Jewel D. Payne is now being held on $250,000 bond in the Wood County Jail, charged with taking that motherly love too far.

Seventy-three-year-old Jewel Faye Davenport Payne lives in Logansport, Louisiana, and is the mother of Jason Thad Payne who was convicted of capital murder in March in district court in Wood County. Payne was convicted in the December 2011 shooting deaths of his wife, Nichole Payne, and her son by a previous marriage, Austin Wages. Jason Payne is serving a life sentence in the Stiles Unit in Beaumont and his case is being appealed.

His mother is accused of trying to get a relative to find someone to threaten an emergency medical technician who responded to the murder scene and who testified in the trial this spring. On Oct. 6 Jewel Payne was arrested and booked in the Wood County Jail, charged with attempted tampering with a witness.

A probable cause affidavit explained that Jewel Payne’s niece visits her elderly parents in Bossier City, Louisiana, and prior to one of those visits was contacted by Jewel Payne who said she wanted to talk to her. They went for a ride in a car and the niece, who was suspicious about the meeting, made an audio recording on her cellphone.

The affidavit says Wood County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Kyle Henson, who was familiar with Jewel Payne and her voice, listened to the recording in which she talks about the EMT. She stated that the EMT testified about the condition of the body of one of the victims when she arrived and that she felt this testimony was significant in the trial. She then asked the niece to “find a man to go to this lady… and frighten her. To tell her that you know she lied and try to scare her” into retracting her statement. It states she further talked to the niece to “look into the lady” beforehand “that way you would know if she had a child or someone you could threaten to harm.”

It also states that the niece stated that she believed what she was being asked to do was a crime, and that Jewel Payne agreed with her.

Investigators obtained a search warrant from a district judge in Desoto Parish in Louisiana and served that warrant on Jewel Payne’s home on Oct. 6. Investigators seized letters from Jason Payne to his mother and a digital recorder.

The affidavit for the search warrant includes information about numerous telephone calls from Jason Payne to his mother in which he talks to her about the visit by the niece. In two of the calls, the affidavit states, Jewel Payne says “I’m gonna try… to do my best” and “I’ll do what I gotta do.”

In a followup call from Jason Payne, his mother told him that the niece did not agree to the request and “I’ll figure out something” and “I’ll find somebody.”