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Affidvait: Man confesses to killing cousin, placing body in bag, inside crawlspace

Jayson Payne, 39, is charged with murder in the death of his cousin, Michael Montgomery.
Jayson Payne, 39, is charged with murder in the death of his cousin, Michael Montgomery.(Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 4:04 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A man charged with murder in the Jan. 13 stabbing death of his cousin confessed to the killing and explained his reason for committing the crime, a court document explains. The affidavit unveiled by Sedgwick County District Court explains what led to the arrest of 39-year-old Jason Payne and the subsequent first-degree murder charge he faces in the death of Michael Montgomery.

This all began at about 5:40 a.m. Jan. 13 when Wichita police officers responded to the report of a man running around the intersection of 13th and North Oliver, lying down in the intersection and appearing disoriented.

“When officers arrived, the male was lying in the lanes of traffic,” the affidavit says. “As the officers made contact with the male, (they) heard the male make the statement that he had “killed his cousin.”

The officers identified the man as Payne. Police say he advised that his cousin was Michael Montgomery, and Payne was transported to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital for treatment.

The officers went to the apartment where Payne lived with Montgomery. The affidavit says officers spoke with a man who told police the apartment number where Payne and Montgomery lived and told them that “(Montgomery) was disabled and utilized a wheelchair.”

The affidavit says the front door to the apartment was unlocked and cleared, with no one inside. One of the officers noted an empty wheelchair inside the apartment. Officers entered the basement commons area of the four-plex in the 900 block of North Oliver and found “several discarded plastic/latex-style gloves.”

One officer noticed an opening to a crawl space, and just inside that crawl space, “he observed a large black nylon-style zipper bag with an irregular shape,” the affidavit says. The officer unzipped part of the bag and found a bloody sock and what appeared to be a human body.

“EMS was called to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased,” the affidavit says.

On Jan. 14, an autopsy confirmed the man (identified as Montgomery) suffered multiple stab wounds to the head and torso.

“The manner of death was determined to be homicide,” the affidavit says.

During an interview with a Wichita police detective, the affidavit says Payne admitted that he became angry with Montgomery after he said his cousin “acknowledged to him that he had molested a couple of their relatives in the past.”

“(Payne) stated that he went to his room and retrieved a “throwing knife” and went back into the living room area and started stabbing (Montgomery) repeatedly,” the affidavit says. “(Payne) described how he put (Montgomery’s) body in a bag and put it in a hole in the basement. Payne admitted that he cleaned the knife and a bloody area on the floor in the living room after the attack. Payne stated that he continued to drink and do drugs until the time he decided to surrender himself for “murdering (his) cousin.”

In response to Payne’s statements on why he killed his cousin, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office says a case was never brought against Montgomery in Sedgwick County.

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