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Pervis Payne’s lawyer argues for concurrent sentencing

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:43 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It was an emotional day for Pervis Payne whose death sentence has been dropped.

“Based on the findings of the experts in this matter that he is intellectually disabled so the death sentences are hereby vacated or set aside,” said Judge Paula Skahan.

Payne’s father and sister along with several other family members were present for the hearing Tuesday, all of them overjoyed by the decision.

“I can go home and relax and know that justice has prevailed,” Payne’s father Elder Carl Payne said.

Payne was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1987 stabbing deaths of 28-year-old Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter Lacie in Millington.

In April, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that prevents death row inmates with an intellectual disability from being executed.

With the death sentence vacated and replaced by two life sentences, the discussion is now whether they will run concurrently or consecutively.

Payne’s attorney, Kelley Henry is asking the judge for them to run them concurrently.

“We’re asking the judge run them at the same time so that he would be eligible for parole in about six years, that doesn’t mean he’d get out but he’d be eligible,” said Henry.

Henry went on to say if the sentences run consecutively, Payne would not be eligible for parole until he is 85-years-old.

The next hearing is on Dec.13, when the judge will determine whether the life sentences will run consecutively or concurrently.

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