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Trial Delayed a Week for Pair Accused of Killing Child

Jury selection scheduled for Sept. 10 in trial of Banning couple accused of killing woman's 2-year-old son.

Jury selection is scheduled to get under way on Sept. 10 for the trial of a Banning couple accused in the beating death of the woman's 2-year-old son.

Andrew Lee Payne, 24, could face 25 years to life in prison and Davia Damanique James, 23, could face 15 years to life behind bars if convicted in the death of the youngster, identified in court documents as John Doe.

The child died from severe head trauma on Nov. 11.

Trial proceedings were slated to begin Tuesday, but to give both the prosecution and defense time to locate witnesses and iron out scheduling issues, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michele Levine deferred the matter a week, when pretrial motions will be heard. Jury selection is expected to get under way the following day. Levine blocked off 12 days total for the trial.

Each defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail -- Payne at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, James at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

Payne is charged with second-degree murder, assault on a child resulting in great bodily injury, falsifying a prescription and possession of illegal drugs. James is charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment.

According to Banning police, officers were sent to the defendants' single-story house at 1435 W. Hays St. two days before the boy's death to investigate a report of an injured child. Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham told City News Service that investigators learned from doctors that the 2-year-old had suffered a compressed spine, punctured lung and other internal and external injuries.

The prosecutor said there was also brain hemorrhaging from a blow to the toddler's head. Most of the injuries appear to have been inflicted while James was shopping and Payne was supposed to be watching the boy, according to investigators.

Beecham said the child remained in the residence, drifting in and out of consciousness for two days before James requested an ambulance.

The tot died that week in the pediatric intensive care unit at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Washy September 29, 2012 at 06:33 PM
A woman (all women) needs to be responsible for their actions (OR THERE LACK OF) This baby had his shots, well checks and this mom had taken her child to the Dr before the ONLY reason she didn't was to protect a pig of a man because she didn't want to be alone. I hope she gets the full 15 with out parole.......She deserves worse then that. She brought the pig of a man into her life. I had a man hit me once...he went to jail....I never let a man hit my children or I would have gone to prison. Weak ass bitches ought not have kids. And I put quotes around "social worker" Because all you need is a HS diploma (or GED) to do what you do, so don't act like you have a PHD in head shrinking. FACT bitch left her defenseless baby with a man who had been abusive to her (NO MORE FACTS NEEDED)
Sarah B October 03, 2012 at 10:54 PM
GUILTY!!
Linda Moore October 22, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Washy, you're confusing your opinions with facts, which are two totally different things; and opinions are just like anuses in that everyone has one, but that doesn't make yours right or mine wrong or vice versa, and it doesn't take a PhD to know the difference, so I don't need to "act like" I have one. But that's my opinion. Mariana, you have wrongly assumed that I was aware of problems in that family when I only became aware of this case after meeting the maternal grandmother in my women's Bible Study group after the fact. Also, where is it written that my compassion has to be only one-way? In other words, why is it that if I show compassion for the mother that means I can't possibly have any left for Robert? Please explain, because I don't understand.
Mariana Zuelsdorf October 22, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Linda, if I misjudged you, I'm sorry, but you did rather sound like you know the family personally. Regardless of whether the mother was abused, she was neglectful in not checking Robert and was, in part, responsible for his death. Considering Robert's injuries, he might not have survived one way or another, but that's not the point. It breaks my heart to think of what he went through for two days while he lay on the floor. No food, no water, and most likely, dirty diapers. I can only hope that he was unconscious the entire time and didn't hear his mother's voice as he lay dying. His mother is an adult, capable of protecting herself. Robert had no one, and yet you believe I should feel compassion for his mother? Interestingly, never once, in any of your posts, do you show compassion for Robert.
Linda Moore October 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Mariana, apology accepted. At the risk of inspiring more hateful barbs, I will say I feel compassion not only for Robert, but for everyone concerned, including the young man who ultimately was found guilty of murdering him, however, that does not mean I condone his actions, or Davia's lack thereof, If that makes me a monster, then so be it. I'm doing my best to follow the example of a certain person who said something to the effect "Let the one who is without sin among you be the first one to throw a stone." There is another saying that I also try to remember, "There but for the grace of God go I." Hopefully, I would never find myself in the same situation as these two young people found themselves, but until I am I cannot truly say how I would act or react. I would hope that I would have made better choices than they did, but I refuse to sit in judgement of them because they made poor choices that resulted in the death of Robert. Don't get me wrong. I've seen pictures of him, and I've also held his brother and sister in my arms and rocked them to sleep, so I ache that his young life was snuffed out in such a manner that it was, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to then have a lynch mob mentality about it.

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