‘Smiling’ Payne charged with murder

blog-payne-small.jpgThe former Crozet resident beaming widely for her mugshot after allegedly killing a Richmond pedestrian was charged with murder yesterday by a multi-jurisdictional grand jury, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Kelly Dinelle Payne, 33, had blood-alcohol level of .22 percent at least four hours after she allegedly struck hotel worker Ashokkumar Patel, 51, with a pickup truck on March 7, according to the story.
Payne is a former Crozet resident whose 2002 DUI conviction in Albemarle County made her a habitual offender, a fact underscored by her 2001 arrest for her hit-and-run killing of a 13-year-old girl in Tennessee. The Times-Dispatch reports that her lawyer contends that his client– described in a readthehook.com/blog headline as smiling, drunk, deadly– is actually remorseful and may be enveloped in "medication" and "profound psychological issues."


What she did was awful. That she was allowed to do it so many times is odious. That should all go without saying.

But here's my thought. Big deal she's smiling. Who said you should have to look grim and unhappy in your mug shot? Should someone have to look 'grim and unhappy' in a mugshot just so the rest of the community can feel good about the fact that it looks like she's unhappy and suffering?

The real issue here is that she was able to do this so many times. Everything else is just a distraction to that issue.

She was more likely than not still under the influence when the mug shot was taken. It's not like she was flaunting what she had just done. /Steve