July 2000 murder of Boise State University student
Darrell Edward Payne, 36, of Nampa. Convicted of the July
6, 2000, abduction, robbery, rape and murder of Samantha Maher.
Condemned killer Darrell Payne must be resentenced
Idaho justices rule on Darrell Payne, who was convicted of the
kidnapping, rape and murder of a BSU student
By Patrick Orr - IdahoStatesman.com
June 19, 2008
Convicted killer Darrell Payne's death sentence is
now in question after the Idaho Supreme Court sent the case back to
District Court Wednesday for a new sentencing hearing.
Payne has been on Idaho's Death Row since 2002, when
4th District Judge Thomas Neville sentenced him to death for the
kidnapping, rape, and murder of Boise State student Samantha Maher, who
was abducted off the Greenbelt on her way to class in July 2000.
Payne, who terrorized Boise that summer when he
sexually assaulted two 14-year-old girls in Barber Park and raped a
Boise woman in the weeks before he murdered Maher, filed several appeals
to his death sentence.
While most of those appeals were dismissed, the
Supreme Court did determine that the victim impact statements made by
Maher's family and friends to Neville in the sentencing phase of Payne's
original trial were unconstitutional because those witnesses commented
on Payne's personal characteristics and made specific sentencing
recommendations, according to a 39-page opinion issued by the Supreme
The court also said the victim impact statements
should have been limited to Maher's immediate family.
Paul Blomberg, Samantha Maher's father, said
Wednesday he and his family had not had time to read and digest the
entire opinion so he wasn't sure how they felt about the new sentencing
Blomberg said the family will put their confidence in
the court and do what they need to do in the second sentencing hearing,
no matter how painful it will be.
"We want to move on with our lives, and we can't do
that until this is over," Blomberg said Wednesday. "We are not looking
forward to going back through it. The (death) sentence was a fair
sentence. But if we have to go forward, we will go forward. Darrell
Payne must pay for what he did."
The court appeared to side with the Idaho attorney
general's office on a key point - that the way the death sentence was
handed down was valid. It is unclear whether the resentencing will occur
in front of a new jury or before a judge.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 required juries,
not judges, to find the aggravating evidence needed to sentence someone
to death. Idaho's law reflects that now, but at the time of Payne's
sentencing, Idaho's death penalty law left the decision to judges.
The Idaho Supreme Court seems to agree with Deputy
Attorney General LaMont Anderson's argument that while Neville may have
sentenced Payne to death in 2002, the jury in the case also found the
same aggravating circumstance needed for the death penalty when they
determined that Payne killed Maher while committing rape and kidnapping.
That might not satisfy Idaho's current death penalty
law, but it meets the U.S. Supreme Court standard set in 2002, Anderson
Even if the Idaho Supreme Court thinks it would be
constitutionally permissible for Payne to be resentenced by a judge,
that would be unprecedented under the new law, Anderson said Wednesday.
Anderson said he believes a new jury will have be
called if, as is expected, Ada County prosecutors want the death penalty
reinstated for Payne.
The AG's office has 14 days to ask the Idaho Supreme
Court for a reconsideration or a clarification of its opinion.
Darrell Payne trial set to begin this week
September 24, 2001
Jury selection began last
week at the Ada County Courthouse, in the
trial of Darrell Payne, 34, of Nampa.
Roger Bourne, deputy Ada
County prosecutor expected jury selection to
continue through last week, with opening
statements coming today or Tuesday.
Payne is charged with the
kidnapping, rape and murder of Boise State
student Samantha Maher on July 6, 2000.
Maher was walking to
class through Julia Davis Park. Her body was
later discovered at Payne’s residence in
Canyon County, according to a Sheriff’s
Payne lived in California
until 1994, where he was implicated in one
case of window peeping, and convicted of
When he moved to Boise in
1995, Payne worked as a chimney sweep.
In 1996, Payne was cited
for window peeping after being observed
looking in on a female and her fianc?.
Payne was sentenced to 30
days in jail, which was suspended, and
placed on probation for 24 months.
Payne is also a suspect
in the rape of two 14-year-old girls at
Barber Park in June of 2000, though no
charges have been filed against him in that
"Payne is being
prosecuted for first-degree murder and first
degree rape, both sentences carry the death
penalty in Idaho," said Bourne.
Prosecutors must convince
the jury before they can recommend
sentencing to Fourth District Judge Thomas
"The judge decides the
sentence after conviction," Bourne said.
jury selection, several pre-trial hearings
were conducted regarding admission of
"We talked about general
category evidence and some that concerned
husband-wife privilege," said Bourne.
Payne was arrested in
Eugene, Ore., after he called his wife and
discussed a possible murder from his motel
room, say Sheriff’s Department documents.
These discussions and a
note found in the room were the subjects of
the hearings although Bourne said there was
a ruling prohibiting the use of some
Fantasies, Dark Secrets and Rape
What men would rather women didn't know
July 13, 2000
I first learned about Samantha Maher on Friday from a sign posted in
the entrance of a grocery store. She was 22 and pretty. She left work to
go to classes at the local university, but never made it to the school.
Her husband and family were worried, since it was "out of character" for
her to be out of contact.
On Saturday, a local man named Darrell Payne called his wife from a
motel room in an adjoining state. He told her he had killed a woman and
where to find the body. It had been left in a "waste pit" behind a dairy
barn near their home.
Payne had abducted Ms Maher in a park adjoining the campus,
handcuffed her, snuffed out her life with a gunshot to her head, then
dumped her in the shit hole. Apparently panicked, he had driven her car
hundreds of miles to the motel.
Autopsy results aren't back yet, so it isn't yet clear whether Payne
also raped Samantha Maher, but that was undoubtedly his intent. Besides
the murder, he has reportedly confessed to being the culprit in the
sexual assault and rape of two 14-year-old girls in another park less
than a month ago, as well as another rape.
During the past four days, I have overheard or participated in
several discussions with other guys about this rape and what we would do
to Payne, each conversation seemingly more graphic than the last. There
is an instinct built into us -- a combination of protectiveness,
loathing and unfettered brutality -- which makes us wish we could spend
even just a few minutes with a rapist, unattended and not be held
responsible once we had "taken care of the problem."
I never met Ms Maher. To me, she was just a picture of an attractive
young woman on a poster. Nevertheless, I cried when I heard the news on
Saturday. I would pay good money to take out my rage on the person of
Darrell Edward Payne. In the movie that runs in my head, I would be
armed with nothing more than my own fists and my waterpump pliers.
However, (my civilized self tells me) that wouldn't be justice, would it?
There are days when I think it would be.
Samantha Maher, the victim.
Darrel Edward Payne