LAFAYETTE, Colo. — The 95-year-old man accused of shooting and killing a maintenance worker at the Lafayette assisted living center where he lived appeared in court Wednesday morning where formal charges were filed.
Okey Payne was in court at 8:15 a.m. in Boulder County where he waived his right to be advised of the charges against him but was formally charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of felony menacing.
During the brief hearing, a preliminary hearing was set for May 5 at 9 a.m. At that time evidence will be presented and the judge will determine whether to move forward with a trial.
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Officers with the Lafayette Police Department (LPD) responded to the Legacy Assisted Living Facility at Lafayette around 7 a.m. on Feb. 3 for a report of a shooting. They arrived and found the victim, identified as Richardo Medina-Rojas, who had been shot in the head. He died later that day, according to police. Payne is also accused of threatening two people who came to aid the victim.
Shortly after the shooting, he was arrested in his room at the facility.
According to the facility, Medina-Rojas was the maintenance director and had worked there for eight years. They also said he was "truly beloved" by both residents and staff.
Payne had lived at the assisted living center since October 2019. According to an arrest affidavit, Payne told investigators that staff at the center had been stealing from him since that time. He said that an old manager was fired for the theft, according to the affidavit, but that the theft continued afterward.
The theft allegations were investigated by LPD and Adult Protective Services and were "unsubstantiated," the affidavit says.
"In light of the released arrest report, it’s vital to all of us at The Legacy that unsubstantiated allegations do not mar his [Medina-Rojas] memory," a prior statement from the center says. They have also set up a Gofudme page to support his family which includes his wife and two daughters.
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