Case of the Payne children

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Marina
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Case of the Payne children

Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:43 pm

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/metro/284303.php

Tucson Region
CPS worker suspected child neglect

But lack of evidence forced her to close investigation on Ariana and Tyler Payne

By Kim Smith
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.14.2009

Editor's note: Readers, please be advised that the testimony in this trial is disturbing.

A retired Child Protective Services caseworker told jurors Friday that she had concerns Ariana and Tyler Payne were being neglected by their mother, Jamie Hallam, but was forced to close the investigation because of a lack of evidence against her.
"It doesn't mean it didn't happen. It just means we didn't have enough evidence," a testy Cindy Graupmann told Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer.

Graupmann was one of the last witnesses called to the stand in the capital-murder trial of Christopher Payne, 30. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.

Prosecutors believe Payne killed Ariana and Tyler in the summer of 2006 — months after CPS and the Tucson Police Department thwarted Hallam's efforts to get her children back from Payne.
An autopsy showed Ariana, 3, suffered broken ribs and a chipped shoulder bone before she died. Four-year-old Tyler's body has never been found.

Payne is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, multiple counts of child abuse and two counts of concealment of a dead human body. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty.
Hallam dropped Ariana and Tyler off with Payne on Jan. 20, 2006, for what was supposed to be a weekend visit, according to testimony.

Hallam testified that when she asked for CPS's help in getting the children back, she was rebuffed despite the fact she had sole legal custody of them.

Graupmann testified she began investigating Hallam for suspected child neglect in October 2005. She made two surprise visits to Hallam, one that October and again in early January. Each time, the children were dressed appropriately and appeared healthy, Graupmann said. But Hallam had sores on her face, leading her to believe Hallam was using drugs.

Although Hallam's drug test came back negative, Graupmann said she considered it a positive because Hallam waited three days to supply her urine.

She spoke with Payne on the phone on Feb. 6, 2006, and urged him to seek custody of the children, Graupmann said.

Graupmann admitted that when she spoke to Payne that day, she didn't know Payne had just re-established contact with the children after being absent from their lives for three years. She also acknowledged never meeting Payne, not doing a criminal background check on him and not asking him to submit to drug testing.

All those things would have been done if Hallam's parental rights had been formally severed.

Graupmann acknowledged she called Hallam on March 1, 2006, to inform her she could pick up the children because the investigation against her was finished and the neglect allegations were unsubstantiated.

Hallam tried to pick up the children March 9, 2006, but Tucson police officers left the children with Payne after speaking with Graupmann and her supervisor, Christy Tarpley, over the phone.
Tarpley testified Thursday that the police officers told her Payne had a judge's signed order giving him temporary custody of the children.

The officers testified two weeks ago that Payne did not have signed documents, only a petition asking for custody. The officers said that although Hallam had a letter from CPS indicating the case against her was closed, they deferred to CPS and left the children with Payne.

Graupmann testified Friday that her case notes indicate she told Hallam on March 9, 2006, that the case was still open because they suspected her of using methamphetamine.

But Graupmann acknowledged there are no case notes in Hallam's file dated past that date.

Eazer also asked Graupmann about the sores on Hallam's face.
"Do you know if they were the result of drug usage?" Eazer asked.
"I do not," she said.

"Could they have been caused by acne?" Eazer asked.
"Could be," Graupmann said.

Graupmann was actually called to the stand by Payne's attorneys, who have suggested Ariana's bones were broken before she arrived at the Payne household, possibly by one of Hallam's former boyfriends.

The retired caseworker testified Hallam told her she had been the victim of domestic violence, but there was never any indication the children were abused by Hallam's former boyfriends or that the children had witnessed any violent acts.

Payne has denied physically abusing either child and says they starved themselves to death because they wanted to be with their mother.

Defense attorneys Rebecca McLean and John O'Brien contend it was Payne's live-in girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, who starved the children to death.

Gonzales, 24, who only admits not helping the children, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence.

Graupmann testified a case aide went to Payne's house on Feb. 21, 2006. At that time, Gonzales was on the phone trying to get the electricity turned back on, but there was food in the refrigerator and the children appeared well.

The aide gave Payne contact information for the Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, but Payne said he didn't need food-bank assistance, Graupmann said.

As far as she knows, Payne never called CPS after March 9, 2006 — not to report that the children were starving themselves or soiling themselves and not to report they were acting out or eating their own feces, Graupmann said.

Payne told detectives he did exactly that but received no help.
Hallam sued CPS over Graupmann's and Tarpley's actions, but agreed to settle her lawsuit for $1 million in June 2008. Her lawsuit against the Tucson Police Department is still pending.

Marina
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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:52 pm

From the previous day.

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/local/112105.php

CPS worker saw no neglect, drug abuse on mother's part

March 13, 2009, 6:44 p.m.

A.J. FLICK
Tucson Citizen
Defense testimony about Arizona Child Protective Services' role in the fate of the Payne children seemed to help the state more than the defense by showing that their mother appeared to be a better parent.

Defense attorneys for Christopher Mathew Payne called former CPS caseworker Cindy Graupmann to the stand Friday to discuss the situation that led to reforms in the state's child welfare agency.

Payne is accused of abusing Ariana, 3, and Tyler Payne, 4, starving them to death and hiding their bodies in a storage unit. If convicted of first-degree murder, he could face the death penalty.

Payne has claimed that he kept the children, despite a court order that banned him from being with them, for their safety because their mother, Jamie Hallam, was abusing drugs and neglecting them.

Graupmann, who retired in September, testified she was assigned to investigate a neglect claim against Hallam in October 2005.

Graupmann testified that she saw Ariana and Tyler twice over a five-month span and they appeared to be healthy and well cared for.

In February 2006, despite no evidence that Hallam was using drugs or neglecting the children, Graupmann advised Payne to keep the children.

The defense also called a nurse practitioner who saw Ariana twice in 2004. The girl was behind on her immunizations and underweight after a bout with a lung infection, but otherwise OK, according to testimony.

After those witnesses, the defense rested.

Prosecutors called Richard Barcalow of Catalina, Hallam's stepfather, as a rebuttal witness.

Barcalow said Hallam was a good mother and that the children were well-fed, well-clothed, playful and healthy in her care.

After the jury was dismissed for the weekend, defense attorneys asked Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard S. Fields to rule that the state hadn't proved its case against Payne for first-degree murder, child abuse and concealment or abandonment of a body.

"The evidence is that Reina Gonzales (Payne's live-in girlfriend) had the children during the day and was not feeding them," Assistant Public Defender Rebecca McLean said. "She, in fact, caused the death of the Payne children."

"It was his decision to keep them in the closet," Deputy County Attorney Susan Eazer argued. "He watched them as they slowly starved to death. He did not get help. They were abused, emaciated and dying. In his own words, he feared he would get in trouble (if he sought help for them).

"It was his conscious decision to allow them to die."

Fields denied the motion.

"There is ample evidence that the defendant knew that his failure to feed, provide water or provide medical care or other care for the children" could have caused their deaths or serious physical injury, Fields ruled.

"There was testimony that these conditions such as dehydration and starvation are reversible medical situations," Fields said.

Jurors will return Monday for final instructions and closing arguments.

Marina
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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:10 pm

A news search for this case leads to the Tuscon newspaper, which you have to log on to.

You get better results by doing a general web search for:

"Christopher Mathew Payne"

Put it in quotes. Note that Mathew has only one "t."

For example, here is one.

http://crimeinterrupted.blogspot.com/20 ... payne.html

This case shows the abuses of CPS.

The latest news is that the father got the death penalty.

Marina
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:06 pm

Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:44 pm

http://www.kvoa.com/global/story.asp?s=9999610

Sandy Rathbun reports
Drama continues in Chris Payne trial


Testimony continues in the trial of Chris Payne, accused of starving, abusing and murdering his two children Ariana and Tyler.

Today in the courtroom, attorneys took jurors back to 2006 and a dispute over which parent had custody of Ariana and Tyler Payne.

Chris Payne says CPS told him he had custody because the agency was investigating the children's mother Jamie Hallam.

But Hallam says CPS told her she had custody because the agency investigated her, cleared her and closed its case.

Ultimately the kids stayed with Payne, who is accused of murdering them.

Prosecutor Sue Eazer asked former CPS Supervisor Christy Tarpley what happened.

Tarpley says, "I don't recall it. So you're asking me to testify about stuff I don't remember. I didn't look at any of this. I don't really care. And that's the bottomline."

Tarpley told jurors she'd been in her CPS supervisory job just one day when Ariana and Tyler's custody became an issue. She denies telling police to leave the kids with their dad.

Tonight Tarpley emailed KVOA about her comment insisting we'd taken it out of context. She wrote, "I never said I did not care about the children. I said I did not care to read the case notes."

Prosecutor Eazer asked Tarpley, "Did anyone from CPS to your knowledge ever go out and check on those kids with Christopher Payne?" Tarpley answered, "I don't even know."

Jamie Hallam's former CPS caseworker Cindy Graupmann also took the stand briefly.

Prosecutor Eazer protested she's been commenting on the Tucson Citizen Newspaper's website throughout the trial, allegedly releasing confidential CPS information.

Eazer says, "She comes into this court with tremendous bias. The fact is she has been signing on and saying these awful things about Miss Hallam and her family."

Exerpts from two of Cindy Graupmann's alleged comments state, "The saddest part is that Jamie Hallam is responsible just as much as Christopher Payne."

"She was using meth. Those children would be alive if she hadn't chosen to get high."

Jamie Hallam eventually sued and received a million dollar settlement from CPS over its handling of her children's case.

Chris Payne's murder case resumes tomorrow. It could go to the jury early next week.

Marina
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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:49 pm

http://regulus2.azstarnet.com/blogs/cou ... /13835/cps

CPS
03/13/2009 12:18 PM
Kim Smith

Cindy Graupmann, a former CPS caseworker, was called to the stand this morning in the Chris Payne murder trial but she probably thought she was the one on trial.

Prosecutor Susan Eazer grilled Graupmann about her interactions with Jamie Hallam, Ariana and Tyler and she’s not done yet. Graupmann will be back on the stand after lunch.

Graupmann acknowledged that when she urged Payne to seek custody of Ariana, 3, and Tyler, 4, in February 2006:

1) She didn’t know Payne had just re-established contact with the children after being absent from their lives for three years.

2) That she’d only met Hallam and the children twice and she’d never met Payne.

3) That each time she saw Hallam and the children she saw no reason to suspect the children were being abused or neglected.

4) Hallam’s one and only drug test was negative.

5) The children were well-dressed, healthy and “not skinny or emaciated.”

Graupmann, who had to refer to her case notes repeatedly during her testimony, said her notes indicated Hallam had sores on her face.

When Eazer asked her if they could have been acne, Graupmann said “Yes.”

Hallam, remember, received $1 million from CPS to settle her lawsuit against CPS and the state.

Marina
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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:51 pm

An earlier article.

http://regulus2.azstarnet.com/blogs/cou ... 23/up-next

Up next

03/12/2009 03:31 PM
Kim Smith

Two CPS workers are out in the hall waiting to testify for the defense in Chris Payne’s trial.

Cindy Graupmann was the caseworker who told Jamie Hallam the investigation against her was closed and the allegations against her were unsubstantiated. She’s also the one who, one week later, told TPD officers the case was open and the children should stay with Payne.

Christy Tarpley is Graupmann’s boss.

Marina
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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:18 pm

http://74.6.239.67/search/cache?ei=UTF- ... 1&.intl=us

Stories conflict on Payne kids
Ex-CPS worker denies instructing cop to leave two children with their father

By Kim Smith
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.13.2009

Correction March 14, 2009: A story Friday on Page A15, "Stories Conflict on Payne Kids," should have said Tucson police officers testified Jamie Hallam had a letter saying the CPS investigation against her was over and that she could have the children, but the officers deferred to CPS in leaving the children with their father, Christopher Payne.

Editor's note: Readers, please be advised that the testimony in this trial is disturbing.

A former state Child Protective Services supervisor testified Thursday that she "absolutely did not" instruct Tucson police officers to leave Jamie Hallam's children with their father, Christopher Payne.

Christy Tarpley told defense attorney Rebecca McLean she was asked to participate in a brief telephone conference call between Tucson police Officer William Nutt and caseworker Cindy Graupmann on March 9, 2006.

Graupmann informed her that Hallam — Ariana and Tyler Payne's mother — was at Christopher Payne's apartment to pick up the children, Tarpley said.

Nutt wanted to know if he should give the children to Hallam, Tarpley said.

After she was told Payne, 30, had a signed court order granting him temporary custody of the children and the children appeared to be happy and healthy, Tarpley said she told Nutt, "There's your answer."

Thursday was the second day of the defense's case in Payne's capital murder trial.

Prosecutors believe Payne killed Ariana and Tyler in the summer of 2006 — months after Hallam dropped them off with Payne for what was supposed to be a weekend visit.

An autopsy showed Ariana, 3, suffered multiple broken ribs and a chipped shoulder bone in the weeks or months before she died. Four-year-old Tyler's body has never been found.

Payne is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, multiple counts of child abuse and two counts of concealment of a dead human body. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty.
When interviewed by police, Payne denied physically abusing either child in any way and suggested Ariana's injuries happened while she was living with Hallam. He said CPS told him to keep the children and they starved themselves to death because they wanted to be with their mother.

Defense attorneys have also suggested Ariana was hurt before the children came to live with Payne. However, they contend Payne's live-in girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, starved the children to death. Several witnesses have testified that Gonzales was alone with the children for hours while Payne worked or sold drugs.
The 24-year-old Gonzales, who only admits not helping the children, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence.

At the time Hallam dropped the children off with Payne, she was being investigated for suspected child neglect and drug abuse.
Tarpley testified Hallam was uncooperative with CPS, but Payne was cooperative.

She cited the signed custody papers Nutt told her Payne had as evidence of Payne's cooperativeness. She said he'd been told to seek custody of the children by Graupmann.

Nutt and his backup officer, however, told jurors Payne's documents were not signed by any judge.

They also testified Hallam had a letter in hand saying the CPS investigation was over and she could have the children, but they deferred to CPS in leaving the children with Payne.

Tarpley insisted Thursday she specifically asked Nutt, who was speaking to her on a phone from Payne's apartment, if Payne's documents were signed and he said "yes."

When Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer asked Tarpley if she checked later whether Payne's documents were legal, Tarpley replied she didn't because she was raised to trust police officers.

Tarpley denied being present on March 1, 2006, when Graupmann called Hallam to tell her the neglect and drug abuse investigation was closed, the allegations weren't substantiated and she could pick her children up.

When Eazer showed her documents indicating Tarpley was there, Tarpley said, "I don't deny it, but I don't remember it, either."
Tarpley also insisted that despite the fact Hallam received a letter informing her the case was closed, the case was not closed.
"The case was not closed. The button was not pushed on the computer," Tarpley said.

Such letters aren't supposed to go out until after a supervisor signs off, but at that time the investigations unit was "a mess," Tarpley said.

Tarpley said she closed the case in mid-March 2006, in part because of her conversation with Nutt.

She doesn't know if anyone checked on Ariana and Tyler after March 9, 2006, but she knows she didn't tell anyone to check on them, Tarpley said.

Tarpley also said she can't verify Payne's contention that he called CPS asking for help. She personally didn't get any calls, she said.
Hallam agreed to settle her lawsuit against the state of Arizona and CPS for $1 million in June 2008. Her lawsuit against the Tucson Police Department is still pending.

When interviewed by police, Payne said he believes the children died about two months before he asked a homeless man to rent him a storage unit on North Prince Road. The lease on the unit was signed Sept. 3, 2006.

Graupmann is scheduled to testify this morning.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields is presiding over the case.


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