News & Publications
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Local attorney James Payne will defend suspect in federal gang-related kidnapping of NC prosecutor’s father
May 09, 2014

SHALLOTTE, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- Criminal Defense Attorney, W. James Payne, was appointed on May 7, 2014, to defend Jakym Camel Tibbs, a Defendant in the Federal Kidnapping case (USA vs. Melton; 5:14-cr-72-D-3) in North Carolina. “Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice charged Tibbs and Quantavious Thompson - who was arrested on Wednesday - with conspiracy to kidnap 63-year-old Frank Janssen from his home in Wake Forest, N.C., on April 5. The victim was rescued on April 9 when FBI agents raided the Atlanta apartment where he was being held. Authorities told WSPA that the crime was related ...
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How does a convicted murderer go free?
May 09, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- No one saw this coming. Just when we thought there were answers, the search for Shannon Rippy continues on. Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said Thursday that a body found in Pender County Tuesday turned out not to be the body of Rippy. However, the suspect remains the same. James Bradley is still facing charges of first degree murder and is still the prime suspect in Rippy’s murder. With another body found, he’s now the suspect in another murder. And, murder is a term that Bradley is unfamiliar with. “Life without parole ...
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W. James Payne Law Firm Newsletter, Edition No. 1, April, 2014
April 03, 2014

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE W. JAMES PAYNE LAW FIRM NEWSLETTER, EDITION NO.1, APRIL 2014 ...
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Woman who drove over boyfriend guilty of manslaughter
March 05, 2014

nbsp;  A Brunswick County jury on Tuesday rejected a second-degree murder charge and instead found Julie English guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the May 2012 death of her longtime boyfriend Michael Anthony Pate. English, 49, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Claire V. Hill to 51 to 74 months in prison. After nearly two years in custody, three full days of trial testimony and about 10 hours of jury deliberation, English, a hairdresser from Supply and mother of two grown sons, learned her fate Tuesday afternoon. According to trial testimony, on May 27, 2012, after a day of partying ...
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Victim's family disappointed with verdict for girlfriend who killed boyfriend
March 05, 2014

WATCH VIDEO HERE.   BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- The verdict and sentence both came in for a Brunswick County murder trial Tuesday. While the jury convicted Julie Ann English, it was for a lesser charge. And, the victim's family is more than disappointed by that. Hugs and a baby picture of her son helped Nancy Kaylor deal with a draining and disappointing day. "I'm not so much disappointed with the verdict, I'm disappointed with what they were allowed to be able to say in Michael's behalf of what went on and what didn't go on," Kaylor said. The mother of Michael ...
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Vassey defense attorney sheds light on tragic day
February 07, 2014

WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather   WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Defense Attorney James Payne spoke out Wednesday on behalf of his client, Southport Detective Bryon Vassey, who was indicted this week on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Boiling Spring Lakes teen Keith Vidal. The press conference was held to help paint the picture of the events that occurred January 5 when Vidal was shot and killed during a struggle with three officers. Payne defended Vassey, saying he, "exercised the only morally legally justified duty in protecting the life of a fellow officer. That sadly resulted ...
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Port City Daily exclusive: DA, defense attorney offer different accounts of fatal shooting of mentally ill teen
February 07, 2014

BOLIVIA—Moments after a Brunswick County grand jury indicted Southport police officer Bryon Vassey on a voluntary manslaughter charge for last month’s fatal shooting of a mentally ill teenager, District Attorney Jon David and Vassey’s attorney offered vastly different accounts of the shooting. During a bond hearing before Superior Court Judge Jack Hooks, David’s account of the Jan. 5 shooting varied greatly from the one offered by defense attorney James Payne. David described 18-year-old Keith Vidal as a young man in crisis whose parents were seeking help so he wouldn’t harm ...
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Charged officer's attorney tells more about BSL shooting
February 07, 2014

nbsp; WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A day after a Southport police officer turned himself in on a voluntary manslaughter charge, his lawyer is speaking out. Attorney James Payne says Det. Bryon Vassey handled the situation that ended in 18-year-old Keith Vidal's death the best he could. Payne says Vassey acted honorably on Jan. 5 when he shot and killed the schizophrenic teen in Boiling Spring Lakes. Payne says a body mic on one of the other officers reveals what he believes really happened that sunday afternoon. He says at some point during the struggle Vassey saw Vidal make a stabbing motion ...
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Attorney: Shot teen was trying to stab police officer
January 11, 2014

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The attorney representing a Southport Policeofficer who reportedly shot and killed a schizophrenic teen Sunday now says his client fired to protect another officer. But that story conflicts with what the officer himself said minutes after the shooting. In an interview with CNN that aired this evening, attorney James Payne says Det. Bryon Vassey shot Keith Vidal, 18, because Vidal was not subdued even after being tased and restrained by Boiling Spring Lakes Ofc. John Thomas and Brunswick County Sheriff's Dep. Samantha Lewis. Instead, Payne says Vidal was using a screwdriver he was holding to try ...
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Attorney says teen killed in Boiling Spring Lakes attacked an officer
January 11, 2014

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – In an interview with CNN Thursday night, James Payne the attorney representing Bryon Vassey said Keith Vidal attacked an officer. Payne elaborated to CNN on Wednesday night, claiming that his client fired after Vidal made multiple attempts to stab the other officer with a screwdriver. The other officer was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not injured. Wednesday's statements are the most detailed public defense yet of the law enforcement officers involved in Sunday's incident. "We can say, based on our preliminary findings, that we are very confident that the officers did what they should ...
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