The Wrongful Conviction of Jason Payne
Help free a man falsely accused and wrongfully convicted
Advocates 4 Wrongfully Convicted
The Letters
The most damaging testimony in the prosecution's circumstantial case against Jason Payne was the hearsay testimony of Sarah Hawthorne, sister-in-law of Nichole Payne. On the witness stand Hawthorne testified that Nichole was afraid of Jason, that Jason was abusive toward her, that Nichole was having an extra marital affair, that she wanted a divorce, and that Jason had threatened to kill her and burn the house down. This was damaging testimony and established motive for Jason murdering Nichole. However, was Hawthorne telling the truth? There's really no way to tell since the only person that could confirm her testimony is dead. Did she have a resentment toward Jason to make her testify the way she did?

There is a totally different side that contradicts what Hawthorne testified to. There are close to two dozen letters from family friends, pastors of two churches, the Mayor of a small town, and a psychologist report that paints a completely different picture of Jason. None of this was ever presented at trial. Could these letters and/or the people that wrote them have testified at trial showing that Hawthorne was not a credible witness and possibly lied in her testimony?