96-year-old man found incompetent to proceed to trial for killing of nursing home employee

Posted at 8:00 AM, August 18, 2021 and last updated 8:00 AM, August 18, 2021

By Blayke Roznowski

DENVER (KMGH) — The 96-year-old man accused of shooting and killing an employee at the Legacy at Lafayette nursing home on Feb. 3 has been found incompetent to proceed to trial, according to the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Okey Payne is accused of killing of 44-year-old Ricardo Medina-Rojas. He’s been charged with first-degree murder after deliberation and two counts of felony menacing using a weapon.

FILE – Okey Payne (Lafayette Police Department)

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Payne claimed employees at Legacy were stealing money from him, which Lafayette police and Adult Protective Services say were unsubstantiated. The morning of the shooting, Payne said he confronted Medina-Rojas and asked him about his money, and when Medina-Rojas responded, Payne shot him once in the head, according to the affidavit.

Police noted in the affidavit that Payne was “clear headed, lucid and he provided detailed information regarding this incident.”

A housekeeper told police Payne had been paranoid and was convinced someone had installed cameras in his bedroom. According to the affidavit, the housekeeper told police she heard Payne say: “Someday I’m going to kill them. What are they going to do? Give me life?”

Weapons are not allowed in the nursing home facility, and Payne told police staff had previously confiscated his guns. However, the housekeeper told police Payne had carried the pistol in a bag attached to his walker.

The DA’s office says Payne is at the state hospital where they will begin the process of restoring him to competency. He will remain in custody throughout the process.

This story was originally published August 17, 2021, by KMGH in Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.

MORE NEWS