Man, 96, won’t stand trial for slaying at home for elderly
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday dismissed the murder case against a 96-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a maintenance worker at an assisted living center north of Denver.
Okey Payne had been charged with first-degree murder after deliberation and two felony counts of menacing stemming from the Feb. 3, 2021, death of Ricardo Medina-Rojas, 44.
Defense attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case after Payne was deemed incompetent to stand trial, and prosecutors did not object, the Boulder Daily Camera reported. Payne will now be admitted to a secure unit at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.
Payne shot Medina-Rojas in the head after confronting him about $200 he claimed Medina-Rojas had stolen after he arrived for work at Legacy Assisted Living in the city of Lafayette, according to police. He then allegedly waved his handgun at two people who tried to help Medina-Rojas.
Doctors deemed Payne incompetent to stand trial and doubted his condition would improve, noting his delusions, advanced age and refusal to participate in testing.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said during Wednesday’s hearing that Medina-Rojas’ family believed this was going to be the likely outcome of the case, and “they expressed their understanding for what was happening here.”
Lafayette police and Adult Protective Services have said Payne’s theft allegations were unsubstantiated.