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Judge dismisses death row inmate's petition for DNA analysis

Pervis Payne
Posted at 4:09 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 17:09:45-05

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Memphis court dismissed a petition for post-conviction DNA analysis for a man on Tennessee's death row.

Last fall, the court ruled in favor of attorneys for Pervis Payne ordering DNA tests of a knife and other evidence in the case. Payne was convicted of the 1987 murders of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter Lacie. Christopher's son Nicholas, who was 3 years old at the time, was also stabbed but survived.

Judge Paula Skahan made her ruling on Monday, saying the results of the DNA evidence did not raise any "serious question about Mr. Payne's guilt." She added the results of the DNA analysis were not favorable to Payne.

Payne was sentenced to death and his execution was originally scheduled for December 3. However, Gov. Bill Lee granted Payne temporary reprieve due to the COVID-19 pandemic.