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Update: Payne Trial Jury Verdict ‘Guilty As Charged’

Update at 3:50 p.m.: A Copperopolis man was found guilty as charged today of causing grave, life-altering injuries to two women while drunkenly operating his vessel on Lake Tulloch two summers ago.

It took the jury about four hours of deliberations today and two on Friday before coming to its decision. Defendant Dean Payne was denied a request to remain free; remanded with no bail and taken into custody as soon as he received the verdict. Sentencing is now scheduled for March 26.

Speaking with Clarke Broadcasting, Deputy District Attorney Brad Jones shared his thanks for the jury’s service and time. He noted that while the jurors’ work was finished, his office still had more to do and would be deferring further comment until after Payne is sentenced.

Jones confirmed that as part of the sentencing hearing the victims and family, should they want, will have the opportunity to make impact statements. Due to the severity of the charge enhancements, he stated that Payne is facing the possibility of a 13-year sentence of which 85 percent — or slightly over 11 years — would under state law be required for his service term.

Original Post at 12:39 p.m.: San Andreas, CA – Today is the first full day of jury deliberations in the trial of a Mother Lode man who stands accused of causing grave, permanently debilitating injuries to two women as a result of a drunken boating collision on Lake Tulloch two summers ago.

The trial of Copperopolis resident Dean Payne is now in its eighth day. Payne, at this point, remains free on $105,000 bond until ordered present as soon as the jurors reach their verdict.

On Friday, attorneys for both sides met in Judge Susan Harlan’s chambers after which court reconvened without the jurors to finalize their instructions. Just before 10 a.m. the jury returned as the court allowed Payne’s attorney Ken Foley to admit four exhibits after which he rested on evidence. Calaveras County Deputy District Attorney Brad Jones called one deputy as a rebuttal witness before resting on that testimony. By 10:30 a.m. the jury was hearing instructions after which Jones made his closing argument.

After a brief recess, court reconvened without the jury, during which Foley, initially waiving his client’s presence, asked for a juror’s dismissal. After hearing from Jones and asking the juror a few questions in Payne’s presence — and despite Foley’s continued objections — Judge Harlan found no cause for his request.

Once the jury returned, Foley began to deliver his closing argument during which Jones made an objection. Excusing the jurors again, this time until after lunch, both sides argued and worked out fine points regarding an exhibit and possible additional instructions, should the jury have questions.

Just after 1 p.m. Foley returned to making his closing argument, wrapping up shortly into the two o’clock hour, followed by Jones’ short rebuttal. It was about 2:40 by the time concluding jury instructions were read and bailiffs sworn, allowing the jurors to begin their work. Following the reading of the instructions to alternate jurors, they, too, were excused.


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