A 95-year-old resident of an assisted living facility in Colorado has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly fatally shooting an employee he accused of stealing money from him, numerous sources reported.
— CBSDenver (@CBSDenver) February 10, 2021
He was accused of shooting and killing Ricardo Medina-Rojas, a maintenance worker at Legacy Assisted Living in Lafayette, on Feb. 3. Police say Payne claimed Medina-Rojas had stolen $200 from him, and Payne confronted him about the theft as he arrived for work, shooting him in the head, according to the Associated Press.
Medina-Rojas later died in the hospital. Payne also told police he had confronted another man about the money he believes was stolen, but that man did not reply to him, according to the AP. He said he was glad that the “thievery” will stop.
Payne has partial hearing and had to read a live transcript of the court proceedings from a laptop in court.
According to an affidavit, he told police that workers had been stealing from him since October 2019 and that he was sitting in the lobby thinking about ways to get attention and stop the thefts. When Medina-Rojas walked into the facility to begin work, Payne said he decided to shoot him, the AP reported.
When fellow workers tried to help Medina-Rojas, Payne allegedly told them “You’re next” while waiving his gun, the affidavit said, according to the Denver Channel.
Authorities did not find evidence of Payne’s claims of theft, according to the AP.
— Rob Low (@RobLowTV) February 4, 2021
Payne previously told investigators that he had been told he could not have guns at the facility and had two guns taken from him and put in a storage facility separate from the care center.
He told investigators he believed employees were trying to kill him, and that he had woken up with needle marks in his big toe, leading him to believe employees were trying to drug him, Fox 16 reported.
Payne has yet to be asked to enter a plea. He has a review hearing scheduled for Feb. 22 and a preliminary hearing on May 5, when prosecutors will have to demonstrate that there is enough evidence to go forward with felony charges, according to the Denver Channel.