About 10 p.m. Thursday, April 25, Las Cruces police were dispatched to Payne’s residence after a woman noticed a large bruise on the side of her 6-year-old granddaughter’s face. The young girl had returned home from Hillrise Elementary School where she attended an after-school event with Payne.
Payne told investigators he spanked the girl, in his car, for allegedly misbehaving at the event. Payne indicated he spanked the girl on her buttocks and the bruise to her face was from a seatbelt buckle. However, the girl’s facial bruise appeared to be in the shape of a hand.
When asked to explain the injury to the 6-year-old girl’s face Payne told investigators, “Ain’t no one did nothing to that f—ing (expletive) little girl.”
The girl’s mother defended Payne, her boyfriend of one year, and told investigators that she is “fine” with letting him discipline her children. The girl’s mother also indicated that she has no concerns with her daughter’s injury. When told Payne would be charged with child abuse, the girl’s mother appeared to be more concerned about Payne than her own children.
The 6-year-old girl and her two siblings are now in safe placement. Detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges are possible.
Payne was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.