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It's Life in Prison for Dallas Cop Killer

It's Life in Prison for Dallas Cop Killer

Dallas Morning News via YellowBrix

June 13, 2011

DALLAS – A jury on Monday sentenced Charles Payne to life in prison for the murder of Dallas police Senior Cpl. Norm Smith in January 2009.

After State District Judge Rick Magnis read the jury’s verdict, Smith’s mother, Carolyn Long, smiled slightly and reached over and briefly clasped the hand of Dallas police Sr. Cpl. Teena Schultz.

Schultz is a member of the police gang unit where Smith served at the time of his shooting death at an east Oak Cliff apartment. The gang unit was there to serve an arrest warrant on Payne’s cousin when Payne shot Smith at the door.

Smith’s wife, Dallas police Lt. Regina Smith, has not attended the trial since before jurors found Payne, 29, guilty of murder. Dallas County prosecutor David Alex said the trial has been “too much” for her emotionally.

Several of Payne’s family members, including his mother Tommie Payne, began crying as they heard the sentence. Payne’s father, Gary Jobe, and grandmother, Mabel Jobe, instructed family members to calm down and leave the courtroom. The tears continued in the hallway.

Long declined to comment outside the courtroom. But during the trial, she testified that she has been able to cope with the emotions of the trial by thinking about what her son would say to her.

“He’d say, ‘stiff upper lip, Mom,’ ” said Long. Smith, whose father was British, lived in Great Britain until he was 17.

Jurors left without commenting on their decision. They deliberated three days before finding Payne guilty and just a few hours before deciding his sentence.


Alex said jurors told the attorneys that their long deliberations to decide Payne was guilty of murder were because a majority wanted to find Payne guilty of capital murder. A capital murder verdict would have made Payne eligible for the death penalty. It also would have meant that jurors believed Payne knew that Smith was police officer when he fired the shots through his door.

Alex declined to elaborate, saying the jurors should speak for themselves if they wanted.

Payne’s defense attorney, Ed “Bubba” King said, “The death of Sr. Cpl. Norm Smith was a tragedy. Nobody won … Neither side got what they wanted. That’s probably the definition of justice.”

The jury’s sentence indicated that they believed Payne did not act with sudden passion — i.e. he was not provoked into shooting by Smith or another officer, and did not lack time for what the charge to the jury called “cool reflection.” Such a finding could have resulted in a sentence of two to 20 years for Payne.

But in convicting Payne of murder, the jury also rejected his claim of self-defense. Payne had testified that he thought he was being robbed and feared for his life when officers showed up at his door.

With a death sentence off the table, Dallas County prosecutors received the life sentence they then sought.

The killing happened when gang unit officers went to Payne’s apartment to serve the aggravated robbery warrant for his cousin. Payne fired through the door, striking Smith, 43, near his left eye and killing him almost instantly.

The jury rejected the argument that Charles Payne, 29, acted with sudden passion, provoked by police and lacking time for “cool reflection.”


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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    about 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    Cpl Smith....RIP, God be with the Family as they deal with a tragetic lost.

  • Flags_and_stars_max50

    djs2v

    about 3 years ago

    5628 Comments

    RIP Cpl. Smith.

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    about 3 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Texas often does it right. This time the jury failed. Rest in Peace Brother Smith. I hope the dirtbag gets it in prison.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    about 3 years ago

    23592 Comments

    I will never understand why this jury had a problem with finding this dirtbag guilty of capital murder and givving him the death penality. I hope that this life sentence is without parole and that he comes to a horrible death while he is locked up. Rest In Peace Officer Norman Smith.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50

    AKangel

    about 3 years ago

    4972 Comments

    POS should have gotten capital murder, and the death sentence.....
    RIP Corpral Norman Smith, Godspeed Sir

  • Vpsomourningband_max50

    DonnaLynn

    about 3 years ago

    10610 Comments

    We don't always get what we want. Maybe God has a better idea for this POS.
    Rest in peace Corporal Smith! God bless your family!

  • Ralphie_max50

    rafaelmorales

    about 3 years ago

    2994 Comments

    RIP BROTHER!!!!!!! STICK THE DAM NEEDLE IN THIS MUTTS ARM AND WATCH HIM DIE..

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    about 3 years ago

    6976 Comments

    Bastard should have been sentenced to DEATH..!!!!!!

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    about 3 years ago

    3308 Comments

    should have been capital punishment. RIP Corporal Norman Smith.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    OlympicJoy

    about 3 years ago

    374 Comments

    Should have been the death sentence. If these murderers would be put to death as they deserve, maybe others will think twice before taking someone's life. Why worry about it if you're just going to get life in prison, there's always a shot at parole, after all

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    about 3 years ago

    19382 Comments

    I visit Norm's grave every January 6, the anniversary of his death. Norm had an incredible human passion and kindness. He helped many kids make it past the gangs. Low key when he needed to be and "Stormin' Norman" when he had to be. He was much more and much larger in real life. RIPB. Until we meet once again.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    about 3 years ago

    11194 Comments

    I sure hope "Life in prison" means life in prison, and no parole. Like others have said, Payne deserves the death penalty.

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    about 3 years ago

    23296 Comments

    R.I.P. Brother. Should have been a death penalty case.

  • Laura_max50

    watchagonnado

    about 3 years ago

    286 Comments

    Forever in our hearts, Rest in Peace Senior Corporal N. Smith.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    about 3 years ago

    50482 Comments

    Rest in Peace Cpl. Smith

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