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Inmate Paul Richard Payne headed back to New Mexico

Published February 6, 2013 1:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Convicted killer Paul Richard Payne will be getting a new room without a view in April.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole decided on Jan. 30 to parole Payne to the custody of authorities in New Mexico, where Payne has a life sentence for killing an inmate in 1999.

Payne, 39, was serving a 5-years-to-life sentence in Utah when he assisted in the 1994 stabbing death of a fellow inmate. He was transferred to New Mexico as part of a prison exchange program after that attack, but soon got in more trouble.

Payne escaped once and then participated in the fatal attack while being housed in administrative segregation. New Mexico officials sent Payne back to Utah in 2003. His sentence was set to expire in 2020.

Since returning to Utah, Payne has been held in administrative segregation. Payne filed a lawsuit over the Department of Corrections' decision to house him for the past decade in the prison's most secure unit. But a federal judge recently found the decision did not violate Payne's constitutional rights and was warranted given his history.