Roy Lee WARD
Rape - Mutilation
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder:
Date of arrest:
Date of birth: July
Victim profile: Stacy Payne,
Method of murder: Stabbing
Location: Dale, Spencer County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 9, 2007
WARD, ROY LEE # 99
ON DEATH ROW SINCE 12-18-02
DOC: #914976 White Male
County Circuit Court
Judge Wayne Roell
Cause #: 74C01-0107-CF-0158
Prosecutor: Jon A. Dartt, Jack
Defense: Barbara Williams, Scott
Date of Murder: July 11, 2001
Victim(s): Stacy Payne W / F /
15 (No relationship to Ward)
Method of Murder: Stabbing with
Summary: 15-year old Stacy Payne
and her 14-year old sister, Melissa, were home alone in their rural
Dale, Indiana home when Ward entered and attacked Stacy with a knife.
Melissa had taken a nap upstairs and was awakened
by Stacy's screams. From the top of the stairs Melissa saw Ward on
top of Stacy.
She called 9-1-1 and heard Stacy pleading,
“Stop!,” while Ward said, You better be quiet.” Ward was still at
the scene, covered with blood and pocket knife in hand, when police
Stacy Payne's torso was nearly sliced in two, her
throat was cut to her windpipe and her wrist was slashed to the bone.
She was nevertheless alive for a short time. Vaginal bruising and
Stacy's DNA on Ward's genitals supported the Rape and Criminal
Deviate Conduct charges.
Ward was on probation for a Burglary in Missouri
at the time of the crime and had a dozen prior convictions for
Public Indecency/Indecent Exposure.
Conviction: Murder, Rape and
Criminal Deviate Conduct
Sentencing: December 18, 2002 (Death
Sentence, 50 years, 50 years)
b (1) Rape/Criminal Deviate Conduct
b (9) On probation or parole
b (11) Mutilation / Torture
dysfunctional family, education, and social environment
parents separated and divorced
mental retardation, low intelligence, mental illness and instability
On the morning of
July 11, 2001, fifteen-year-old Stacy Payne was present in her Dale,
Indiana home. Also present was her younger sister Melissa who was
asleep in her bedroom. Stacy was waiting to leave for work. Other
members of the family had already left for their jobs.
Pretending that he was searching for a lost dog,
Ward approached the Payne residence and convinced Stacy to allow him
to enter the house. Thereafter Melissa awoke to the sound of Stacy
screaming. Going to the top of the stairs Melissa saw a man lying on
top of Stacy holding her down. Melissa then ran to her parents’ room
and dialed 911. As she was talking on the telephone Melissa could
hear her sister saying “please stop.”
Shortly thereafter the Dale Town Marshall arrived
and saw Ward standing in the doorway, covered with perspiration, and
holding a knife. Drawing his service revolver, the Marshall ordered
Ward to the ground. Ward complied saying, “I didn’t do anything.”
The Marshall then went to the kitchen and found
Stacy lying on the floor, nude from the waist down, covered with
blood, and her intestines exposed. Although conscious, Stacy could
She was taken immediately to the emergency room
of the Deaconess-St. Joseph Hospital where doctors noted a
laceration to Stacy’s abdomen, a laceration to her back that severed
her spine, and a laceration across Stacy’s neck cutting her trachea.
Efforts to save Stacy’s life were unsuccessful.
A subsequent forensic examination revealed that
Stacy suffered eighteen blunt force injuries, including injuries
found within the vaginal vault.
Roy Lee Ward sentenced to death
By Kate Braser - CourierPress.com
June 8, 2007
Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman sentenced Roy Lee
Ward to death today for the July 11, 2001 rape and murder of Dale,
Ind. teenager Stacy Payne.
Payne's mother, Julie Payne, gave a victim impact
statement during the 30-minute hearing.
Julie Payne stood between her daughter, Melissa,
and husband Roger as she gave her statement in a voice trembling
"The things we feel most deeply are hardest to
put into words," she said.
As she described the ways Stacy Payne was hard
working, caring and loved by all, Ward sat silently between his
defense attorneys. He showed no emotion and declined the opportunity
to offer his own statement.
"It has been six horrible, long hard years,"
Julie Payne said. "We have yearned for (Stacy) every day."
Julie Payne said Stacy was the kind of person
people gravitated toward.
"She had just completed her freshman year of high
school and was working her first job, saving every penny for her
future plans," Julie Payne said. "Her life was so short but was
filled with meaning."
Pigman set Ward's execution date for June 8, 2008
before sunrise. However, an automatic appeal follows death penalty
convictions, meaning that date is likely to be delayed.
Roy Lee Ward is to be
sentenced today for the July 11, 2001, rape and
murder of Dale, Ind., teenager Stacy Payne.
After a week of often
emotional testimony and graphic evidence
presented during Ward's sentencing hearing last
month, a jury took less than 45 minutes to
recommend he receive the death penalty.
It marked the second time a
jury has recommended Ward be sentenced to death
for the crime. The earlier verdict of a Spencer
County jury was overturned on appeal, and Ward
was granted a new trial. Today's sentencing is
scheduled for 1 p.m. in Vanderburgh Superior
Days before Ward's new trial
was scheduled to begin last month, he pleaded
guilty to the rape and murder, so the jury
pooled from Clay County, Ind., was instead asked
only to decide his sentence.
After five days of testimony
before Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert
Pigman, jurors lost their composure and wiped
tears from their eyes as Spencer County
Prosecutor Jon Dartt recalled testimony during
his closing arguments about how hard the 15-year-old
fought to live.
Dartt said Payne lived for
four hours after the attack.
Kentucky forensic pathologist
Donna Hunsaker testified about her findings from
Payne's autopsy. Hunsaker said the slim,
athletic cheerleader was bound with nylon twine,
raped, beaten on the head with a 3-pound weight,
slashed across her throat and cut nearly in half
across her midsection.
During the week of testimony,
Ward's defense attorneys Lorinda Youngcourt and
Steve Risptra called psychologists to testify.
The professionals described Ward as a psychopath
devoid of emotion and conscience.
Ward's mother, grandmother
and other relatives and acquaintances all said
he should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Ward's own attorneys told jurors to give him
life in prison without parole, explaining he is
too dangerous to live his life anywhere but
Because Ward's is a death-penalty
case, it will automatically be appealed again.
Payne's family and Dartt have said they are
ready for the appeals process still ahead.
Today's sentencing is
scheduled for 1 p.m. in Vanderburgh Superior
Death penalty for Roy Lee
Judge in Stacy Payne rape-slaying
By Kate Braser -
June 9, 2007
Through five long days of courtroom testimony,
Julie Payne had to sit quietly as jurors learned
in detail about the life of the man who raped
and murdered her daughter. On Friday, it was
Payne's turn to tell a courtroom all the reasons
her daughter Stacy Payne made her proud during
her short life.
"I wish you could better know
Stacy so you could better understand our loss,"
Payne said at the beginning of the victim impact
statement she offered during a 30-minute
sentencing hearing for Roy Lee Ward on Friday in
Vanderburgh Superior Court.
County, Ind., jury took less
than 45 minutes to recommend
Ward receive the death
penalty following a week of
testimony last month about
the July 11, 2001, rape and
murder of the 15-year-old in
her Dale, Ind., home.
Vanderburgh Superior Court
Judge Robert Pigman formally
sentenced Ward to death,
ordering the execution to
occur before sunrise on June
8, 2008. However, an
automatic appeal follows
death penalty convictions,
meaning that date is likely
to be delayed.
last month's testimony,
jurors saw Ward's baby
pictures and learned of his
grades in school, his
attendance and his nicknames
— all part of an effort by
Ward's defense attorneys to
demonstrate the troubled
life he had led.
Payne said she wished she'd
been able to share Stacy's
baby pictures, perfect
attendance and good grades.
positive attitude and smile
made her the kind of person
other people gravitated
toward," Julie Payne said as
her voice shook with emotion.
so much potential. She
always did her best. Her
life was so short, but it
was filled with meaning."
Payne described how Stacy
was hardworking, caring and
loved by all, Ward sat
silently between his defense
attorneys. He showed no
emotion and declined the
opportunity to offer his own
statement. His arms and legs
were shackled. The short-sleeved
yellow prison scrubs he wore
revealed tattoos of the
Tasmanian devil, a skull and
dagger that were hidden by
street clothes he was
permitted to wear in front
of the jury.
Payne stood beside husband
Roger and another daughter,
Melissa, and as she listed
accomplishments, but Payne
said the achievements
documented on paper are the
easy ones to explain.
things we feel most deeply
are the hardest to put into
words," she said. "It has
been six horrible, long,
hard years. We have yearned
for her every day."
later, the hearing would end,
and the only sound in the
courtroom would the metallic
jingling of Ward's shackles
as he was led away.
courtroom would empty and
Melissa Payne would step
into the hallway and tell
reporters the sentencing
does not end her family's
not coming home," Julie
Payne said at the end of her
statement, emphasizing each
word. "The damage to our
family will last a lifetime.
Roy Lee Ward