Louisa County homicide

A Louisa County Sheriff’s Office vehicle sits outside a house on South Spotswood Trail last month. A juvenile has been charged with murder in Louisa County court in connection to the slaying of the husband and the shooting of the wife that lived in the house.

LOUISA -- A 16 year-old boy charged with murder in the home invasion of an elderly Louisa County couple was denied a mental competency evaluation Friday.

The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, appeared in Louisa County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, ankles shackled and shrouded by officers. 

He is charged with first-degree murder in the gunshot slaying of Roger Wood Payne, Jr, 82; aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting of Nancy Payne, 73; armed robbery and breaking and entering with the intent to commit murder and robbery.

Louisa County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Payne residence around 1:40 p.m. on Nov. 12 after the wounded Nancy Payne was able to get to a neighbor’s home to call 911. Authorities found Roger Payne dead of gunshot wounds.

About two hours later, the 16-year-old was arrested in Nelson County near the Nelson County Wayside on U.S. 29 with the historic marker for Hurricane Camille, about seven miles north of Lovingston.

Since his arrest, the boy has had a few court appearances, but his case remains in Louisa Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Richard Harry, the boy’s attorney, said he requested a competency evaluation in an “abundance of caution” after the boy’s father made comments last month to broadcast media indicating that his son had been “acting out of sorts.”

However, Harry said he did not feel comfortable establishing whether his client was mentally competent to stand trial and did not have further evidence.

Rusty McGuire, the Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney said that the boy’s probation officer had not noted any “red flags” in regards to mental health prior to the attack and he did not find that a mental competency hearing was necessary.

Judge Deborah S. Tinsley agreed with the commonwealth and denied the motion for a competency evaluation. She also denied a request from the defense to deem the facts sufficient, which would have skipped the need for a preliminary trial and sent the case straight to circuit court.

Though McGuire has previously noted he intends to charge the boy as an adult, he said Friday that the commonwealth still wanted a preliminary hearing. However, McGuire noted that the commonwealth did not want to have a preliminary hearing until Payne’s autopsy was returned, which usually take 60 days.

Tinsley scheduled a detention review for Jan. 3 at which point, she said, she expects to set a date for a preliminary hearing. The 16-year-old is being held without bail.

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