Man convicted of shooting girl to death at crash scene

Jurors convicted Jacobe Payton who was on trial in the murder of 8-year-old De’Maree Adkins nearly three years ago.

The verdict came in the second day of deliberations Tuesday. The trial began more than a week ago.

On the morning of Feb. 25, 2017, LaToyia Jarmon-Thomas was heading home in her vehicle, with her daughter De’Maree in the backseat asleep.

Jarmon-Thomas had a green light and was headed thorough an intersection. That was when, police said, a white Pontiac Grand Prix ran a red light near Fuqua and the Beltway. Jarmon-Thomas then hit the car.

De’Maree’s mom was immediately worried about her daughter.

“I turned to her and I said, ‘De’Maree.’ She said, ‘Yes, Mommy. What happened?’ I said, ‘We had a car accident. Are you okay?’ She said, ‘Yes, Mommy,’ and went right back to sleep,” Jarmon-Thomas recalled.

Minutes later, another Pontiac Grand Prix pulled up. Police said this one was driven by Payton.

Officers said he started shooting at Jarmon-Thomas’ car, hitting it at least four times. Two bullets went through the back passenger side of the car, killing De’Maree.

The driver of the car that hit Latoyia, Malik Webb, told police he had just been at the club with Payton and they were heading home.

He said Payton later confided in him, saying, “I don’t know what happened. I just started shooting.”

In court, prosecutors said the shell casings found at the scene matched a casing found in Payton’s car.

But Payton’s attorneys worked to establish doubt, saying the evidence did not prove Payton was the shooter.

They also questioned the credibility of the witnesses, including Webb. The defense further added fingerprints were never taken from the shell casings and the bullet fragments recovered were inconclusive.

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