On December 11, 2007, a 911 call came in from a man who reported that his wife and son had been shot. Lieutenant Tucker of the Wood County Sheriff’s department responded to the call in Quitman, Texas. The woman found dead was Nichole Payne, wife of Jason Payne (the 911 caller). Her 16-year-old son from a previous marriage, Austin Taylor Wages, was also dead. Lt. Det. Tucker believed it to be a double homicide. Noel Martin, the forensic expert at the crime scene, reported it as a Murder Suicide. It was Martin’s opinion that Austin “died as a result of a self-inflected gunshot wound and Nichole died as a result of gunshot wound at the hands of another individual, most likely Austin.”
Despite Martin’s report, Jason Payne was arrested for the murders of his wife Nichole and stepson Austin. In 2010, Payne was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Due to a lack of evidence, Payne was given another trial. But in March 2016 he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the second time. Dateline NBC will air its investigative report on Friday, May 13 at 10pm.
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