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Prosecutors charge man, 95, with first-degree murder in Lafayette assisted living facility shooting

The Legacy Assisted Living at Lafayette
Posted at 11:36 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 17:12:50-05

DENVER – Prosecutors on Wednesday formally charged a 95-year-old man with first-degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed an employee last week at the Lafayette assisted living facility at which he lived.

Okey Payne, 95, appeared in person in Boulder County District Court Wednesday and was given a computer so that he could follow along with a live transcription of the hearing because he is hard of hearing.

Payne’s attorney waived the formal reading of the charges Payne faces: first-degree murder after deliberation and two counts of felony menacing using a weapon.

The court also set two future court dates for Payne: a review hearing scheduled for Feb. 22 and a preliminary hearing, at which prosecutors will have to show there is enough evidence to carry forth with the felony charges, was scheduled for May 5.

According to an affidavit released last week, Payne allegedly admitted to shooting and killing 44-year-old Ricardo Medina-Rojas on Feb. 3, claiming that employees at the Legacy at Lafayette nursing home were stealing from him.

But those claims were investigated by Lafayette police and Adult Protective Services, both of which found them to be unsubstantiated, records show.

Payne allegedly shot Medina-Rojas that morning after confronting the employee and asking about his money. When Medina-Rojas responded, Payne shot him once in the head, he told officers.

When fellow workers tried to help Medina-Rojas, Payne told them, “You’re next,” according to the affidavit. He was still holding the gun, which led to the felony menacing charges.

Legacy Assisted Living of Lafayette started a GoFundMe page for the family of Medina-Rojas.