The Denver Post

Murder suspect to undergo competency evaluation

- By Mitchell Byars

The 95-year-old man accused of shooting and killing a Lafayette assisted living facility employee is undergoing an evaluation after attorneys raised issues about his competency.

Okey Payne was charged with first-degree murder after deliberati­on in the death of Ricardo MedinaRoja­s, as well as two counts of felony menacing.

Court records show that on April 26, attorneys filed a motion requesting that Payne’s competency be evaluated, and a judge ordered a mental health stay on the case until it can be determined if Payne is competent enough to assist in his own defense.

If Payne is found incompeten­t to proceed, he will continue to be held at a facility until he can either be restored to competency or a judge rules it is unlikely he will ever be fit to stand trial.

Payne remains in custody without bond. He is set for a review hearing on May 26.

First-degree murder is a Class 1 felony that carries a mandatory life sentence in prison without the possibilit­y of parole if Payne were to be convicted.

Police were called to Legacy Assisted Living, 225

Waneka Parkway, at 7:15 a.m. Feb. 3 for a reported shooting.

Officers responded, took Payne into custody and found a small handgun.

Medina-Rojas, a 44-yearold maintenanc­e employee, was transporte­d to Good Samaritan Medical Center and initially placed on life support, but he was pronounced dead that afternoon, according to the affidavit.

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