New Sarpy man accused of killing neighbor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010



HAHNVILLE – Authorities in St. Charles Parish arrested a New Sarpy man they say shot and killed his neighbor and pistol-whipped his own wife after an argument early Saturday, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Marshall J. Payton, 59, of 745 Vans Lane, fired three shots at 27-year-old John-Paul Lewis because he believed he was having an affair with his own wife, 56-year-old Donna Payton. Lewis lives across the street from the couple and their four children.

Lewis’ death marks the first murder in St. Charles Parish in 2010 and the second in a little more than a year, according to a release from Sheriff Greg Champagne.

The violence broke out about 3:15 a.m. Saturday in front of the Paytons’ residence, according to authorities. Armed with a .22-caliber revolver, Payton allegedly marched from his home and walked across the street to Lewis’ residence. Payton knocked on Lewis’ door and got into a shouting match before allegedly firing three shots into Lewis’ chest and running back across the street.

The gunfire awakened Lewis’ fiancé, who found him lying in the front yard, according to deputies. Lewis’ fiancé then ran across the street to Payton’s residence and frantically knocked on the door for help.

When Payton opened the door, Lewis’ fiancé explained what happened and Payton, according to the Sheriff’s Office, admitted to the shooting.

The fiancé, who was not identified by authorities, fled back to her house as Payton began to argue with his wife. At some point, someone called 911, but Lewis died before an ambulance arrived.

Authorities said Payton immediately surrendered when deputies arrived. Investigators determined that he had struck his wife in the face, head and arms with the revolver and also fired shots just above his 29-year-old daughter’s head.

Donna Payton was taken to St. Charles Parish Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Her condition is not known.

Marshall Payton was charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

He is being held at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility in Killona on a $500,000 bond set by Judge Lauren Lemmon.