Judge could decide if evidence needs to be tested for DNA in Pervis Payne case

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A judge could decide whether evidence needs to be tested for DNA in a decades old murder case. It involves a Millington man who’s on death row after being convicted of killing a woman and her two-year-old daughter.

In 1987, Pervis Payne was convicted of stabbing 28-year-old Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter Lacie in a Millington apartment. Christopher’s son Nicholas, who was 3-years-old at the time, survived.

Payne claims he did not hurt the victims. Instead he says he tried to help them when he discovered they were hurt.

For three decades, Payne has remained behind bars. His family and a coalition of community leaders belive advances in technology can now prove his innocence and set him free.

District Attorney Amy Weirich said she does not believe the evidence should be tested. She said the evidence the defense is wanting to test wasn’t even from Payne’s case and was given to the defense by mistake.

Payne’s execution date is set for December 3.

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