The Idaho Department of Correction reports today that Darrell Edward Payne, 49, a convicted murderer facing a death sentence along with life sentences for rape, robbery and kidnapping, has died after a long illness. Payne was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m. at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2002, for the 2000 murder of 22-year-old Samantha Maher; he also admitted raping three other Idaho women. AP reporter Rebecca Boone has a full report here.
Prison officials said Payne “suffered from a chronic illness for which he recently decided to no longer seek treatment.” They wouldn’t specify the illness. A prison guard found Payne unresponsive this morning during a routine check; he was in his cell in the prison's medical unit.