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CPS Gives Kids to Killer
June 21, 2008 permalink
When Jamie Hallam and Christopher Payne got divorced in Arizona the divorce court decided that mother Jamie should get the two kids and father Christopher should not see them at all, not even for the customary every other weekend. Evidently in this case the court assessed that the father was a danger to his own children.
Arizona child protectors acted, as is customary after a divorce, in total disregard of the divorce judge. When the mother's actions were not to their liking, they turned both kids over to dad. In February 2007 4-year-old Ariana Payne was found dead in a storage locker, and the other child, 5-year-old Tyler Payne, is presumed dead.
In this case, which has been on the front pages in Arizona for a year, it appears that child protectors are responsible for the deaths, by turning children over to a parent already adjudged dangerous. The state has agreed to pay the mother one million dollars in settlement.
State agrees to $1 million settlement in suit against CPS
TUCSON - The state has agreed to pay a $1 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by a woman whose two children died.
Jamie Hallam had sued the state's Child Protective Services and the Tucson Police Department, contending that even though Hallam had been given sole custody of 4-year-old Ariana Payne and 5-year-old Tyler Payne, CPS allowed their father, Christopher Payne, to keep them.
Payne and his girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, are accused of killing the children and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The remains of the 4-year-old were found in a plastic storage tub in February 2007 after the manager of a self-storage business called police to report a foul odor. The 5-year-old's remains never have been found, but police believe he is dead.
The lawsuit alleged CPS officials never investigated Payne or Gonzales or checked on the children's well-being.
CPS had investigated Hallam on an allegation of neglect, which was later found to be unsubstantiated.
Although the state settled the case with Hallam, the portion of the lawsuit pertaining to the Tucson Police Department hasn't concluded.
Hallam's attorney, Jorge Franco Jr., said the state admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, but noted the lawsuit was settled faster than usual.
"It's a significant settlement, and no one pays that amount of money unless they fear a jury will find them at fault," Franco said.
Franco said his client was thinking about using a portion of the funds to continue her education.
Source: Arizona Republic