October 18, 2002 -
November 2001 -2007
Jamie Hallam was given sole custody of
Her ex-husband had disappeared and he wasn't visiting the children at
One day, he showed up and seemed to be in better shape than the last
she had seen him. Jamie allowed him to visit with their children, Tyler
and Ariana. Jamie, convinced he had turned his life around, allowed him
to have the children for a weekend visit and then allowed him to take
to a birthday party. That would be the last time she would see her
Jamie would try to get her children
back with the
help of the Tucson Police. Taking the court order that gave her sole
she asked the police to go with her to her ex-husbands apartment to
her children home. After speaking with Christopher Payne, who was 29 at
the time, the police officer contacted the state and was told to leave
the children where they were. This would turn out to be a big mistake
the part of CPS who never visited the children to check on them.
Child Protective Services claims what
had reports that the children had been abused by someone else, they had
no complaints about Christopher Payne having abused them and they
in contact with him regarding those claims:
"CPS did not place the children
with Mr. Payne.
The children were placed with Mr. Payne by
another individual family member,
investigation revealed no information that the
children were at risk of harm with
After their divorce in March of 2002,
Jamie and the
children lived with her stepfather, Richard Barcalow on and off
about year. He spoke of how he'd gone to the home of Christopher and
at all hours to pick her and the children up because Christopher was
violent. On June 16, 2003, papers were filed by Jamie requesting that
Christopher not be allowed to see the
of his violent temper as well as drug and alcohol abuse. Richard
said that he had never seen Christopher abuse the children. At that
she also had her named changed back to Hallam. The court found that
was a fit mother, gave her sole custody and ordered Christopher to pay
child support of $446. a month.
On February 22, 2006, Christopher
Payne filed for
a modification of child custody stating that Jamie was high on drugs
not taking care of the children. Christopher claimed that CPS had told
him to file the claim. Richard Barcalow denied that Jamie was doing
or that she was ever intoxicated around the children:
"She was wonderful with the
children. She would
sit on the floor and read with them."
February 18, 2007 police
were called by the manager of a storage unit claiming there was a foul
odor coming from one of their sheds.
The man who had been paying for
the shed had not
paid rent for quite some time and the shed had been double locked
only employs to have access to the shed.
When the shed was opened, the
officers found a plastic
storage tub with the remains of what looked to be a child about the age
of two though she was really four. The child would later be identified
as Ariana Payne. The police would also
learn that she had a brother,
though his body was
not found in the shed. In fact, his body would never be found at all.
tried to find the body of Tyler Payne and were not successful in doing
Police made contact with
Christopher Payne who was
the renter of the shed. Christopher was arrested and charged with first
degree murder, child abuse and abandoning or concealing body parts. He
was held on
$1.5 million dollar bail.
Tyler and Ariana Payne suffered abuse
at the hands
of their father and his live in girlfriend. Reina Gonzales, who was 23
at the time, gave details about some of the abuse the children suffered
before they died. Reina claimed that she was also a victim of the abuse
which Christopher had been giving. Reina testified that Tyler and
were locked in a closet with no food or water. After Adriana died, her
body was placed in a storage container and Tyler was forced to stay in
the closet with her decomposing body. Tyler would eventually die as
Reina said that instead of helping the children, she started using
to go numb and not have to deal with what was going on.
Richard Barcalow, Tyler's grandfather
made a plea
to Christopher to tell authorities where Tyler's body was. He also made
a hopeful assumption that Christopher had sold Tyler:
"I hope he did sell him. At
least he'd be alive.
It just hurts so much to have them killed or missing.
You don't know what happened.
Jorge Franco Jr, the attorney for
Jamie Hallam filed
a case against the state in March of 2008:
“The liability for the state of
this case stems from the obvious negligence of the CPS caseworker and
that was in charge of Jamie Hallam’s case in March of 2006.
made inconsistent decisions eight
and effectively violated a judges custody order”
Jamie's lawsuit says that she
and emotional damage as well as shock and grief due to the neglect of
state to protect her children. In the suit Hallam states loss of
of children, past and present medical expenses for counseling services
she has and will receive and incidental damages that are the direct
of the loss of her children. No dollar amount was given, Jamie asked on
“A judgment in an amount
that will compensate
plaintiff Jamie Hallam fairly and fully for the wrongful
deaths of Ariana and Tyler Payne.”
Jamie was eventually awarded one
for her case against CPS. There was a lawsuit still pending against the
Tucson Police Department. In October of 2010, Judge Carmine Corneilio
dismissed the case against the Arizona Police Department saying that
there was no evidence to say that the children were going to die if
they were left with their father.
Christopher Payne was set to go on
trial in February
Reina Gonzales plead guilty to two
counts of second
degree murder which was part of her plea bargain to testify against
The plea bargain guarantees that she will go free someday. It is
that some time after the trial of Christopher Payne, she will be given
a sentence of two 22 year sentences, to run concurrently.
Reina was sentenced to the expected
22 years in prison and she testified against Christopher.
In March of 2009, a jury found Christopher
Payne guilty of first degree murder, child abuse and concealment of a
dead body. In April of 2009, a jury decided that Christopher deserved
to die for what he did to his children and he was sent to death row n
Florence, Arizona. Of course the case would go to appeal, however, in
August of 2013, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the convictions as
well as the sentence of death.
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Death Occurred in the
state of Arizona