Eastern Utah domestic dispute ends with woman gunning down her boyfriend, sheriff says

Stephanie Dawn Payan

A woman has been arrested in the shooting death of her boyfriend, a slaying that allegedly culminated an hours-long argument at a home they shared in the eastern Utah town of Duchesne.

Duchesne County Sheriff David Boren said deputies found 51-year-old Guy Wells Mecham dead about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday inside a house at near 600 E. 300 North.

Boren said that Mecham and his girlfriend, 41-year-old Stephanie Dawn Payan, and her teenage daughter had lived at the residence since moving to Duchesne from Heber City four months ago.

They reportedly had been arguing throughout the day, and at one point Mecham left the home for several hours.

While he was away, Payan and her daughter talked about the relationship with Mecham, and at one point the mother handed a credit card and cash to her daughter, saying, “You’re going to need this,” investigators alleged.

When Mecham returned, he and Payan resumed arguing in the master bedroom; he finally told her he was ending their relationship.

It was then that Payan, according to a sheriff’s office news release, walked out of the bedroom, retrieved a handgun and — as Mecham walked into the hallway — shot him once in the back.

Still alive, Mecham handed his cellphone to the girl and asked her to call 911, only to have Payan take the phone and order her daughter to pack her things.

Payan then called the girl’s biological father, saying she had just shot Mecham, and he needed to come pick up the girl. The father of the girl told Payan to call 911.

The sheriff said deputies found Payan sitting in a vehicle outside the home, the girl inside her own bedroom inside the house — and Mecham dead in the doorway to the master bedroom.

Payan was arrested and booked into Duchesne County jail on suspicion of murder, domestic violence in the presence of a minor child, and for preventing the girl from making a 911 call.

The case is being reviewed by county prosecutors.

The girl was questioned and then released to the custody of her father.