BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A 96-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in custody at a state hospital as he’s been deemed irreversibly incompetent to stand trial for first-degree murder.
Okey Payne is accused of shooting and killing Ricardo Medina-Rojas, a maintenance worker at the Legacy Lafayette assisted living facility where he lived, on Feb. 3, 2021. He was arrested after the incident and charged with first-degree murder.
Payne was deemed incompetent in August of last year and the state hospital he is securely housed in said it would begin the process of bringing him to competency.
The district attorney’s office filed a motion to dismiss due to Payne’s mental disability and the motion was granted.
“The law requires the court to dismiss the case when the prosecution cannot overcome the doctors’ determination that he is incompetent. The doctors concluded the defendant’s continued delusions and severe mental condition are related to his advanced age and a neurocognitive illness that will not be reversed with medication and treatment,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.
“The defendant belongs in the secured facility at the State Hospital for the rest of his natural life. The Lafayette Police Department did an excellent job with the investigation into this incredibly tragic case. Okey Payne committed a brutal and unjustified murder of an innocent victim who was a loving father and husband. Sadly, the victim’s family had believed this would be the outcome. They are striving to cherish the memories of Mr. Medina-Rojas,” Dougherty said.