Bond set at $1M for accused child killer

Boy, 2, died Saturday; Victim in prior endangering case was 8 weeks old.

Bond set at $1M for accused child killer
Family of 2-year-old Jacob Barker, including father Jesse Barker, attended the arraignment for the child’s accused killer, 26-year-old Justin Payne. (Jessica Heffner/Staff)

UPDATE @ 2:49 p.m.

Bond was set at $1 million in Dayton Municipal Court for Justin Payne, who faces a murder charge in the death of 2-year-old Jacob Barker.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for next week, but the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has indicated the case will be presented to a grand jury in the next week or two for potential formal indictments.

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Payne refused to be interviewed by court staff regarding his financial situation, which would determine whether he needs a court-appointed attorney.

Jacob barker’s family took up the entire left side of the courtroom gallery. They did not comment after the hearing. They could be heard commenting in approval when the judge set bond.


The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has approved charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and 2 counts endangering children against Justin Payne, according to Montgomery County Prosecutor’s spokesman Greg Flannagan.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Jacob Barker, 2, of Dayton, died at Dayton Children’s Hospital of injuries received on Saturday.

Justin Payne, 26, called 9-1-1 around 10:40 a.m. Saturday from an apartment on the 4900 block of Woodman Park Drive, saying that Jacob was unresponsive. He told a dispatcher his girlfriend’s son may have choked on a Pop Tart. He remained on the line with a dispatcher, who instructed him to begin CPR, for more than seven minutes until medics arrived.

However, shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday, police arrested Payne on suspicion of aggravated felonious assault, according to the police report.

Until November 2014, Payne was an inmate at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, where he served a 2½-year sentence for endangering a child, a third-degree felony. The victim in the case was an 8-week-old infant who suffered serious injuries in January 2011 as a result of Payne’s actions, according to Montgomery County court records.

According to the state’s sentencing memorandum from May 2012, Justin Payne caused “devastating injuries” to a defenseless child in January 2011.

According to witnesses quoted in the memo, Payne “took the baby upstairs and shortly thereafter they heard a loud banging and the baby screaming. Defendant (Payne) caused a fracture to the baby’s skull, broken ribs and a broken ankle.”

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. asked for the maximum penalty of 36 months in prison. The judge sentenced Payne to 30 months. He was released Nov. 10, 2014, and according to the Ohio Department of Corrections online records, was set for three years of post-release control.

Payne had been out of prison for less than a year prior to this incident, according to Montgomery County court records. He is currently on probation.

The funeral service for the victim, 2-year-old Jacob Barker, is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, at Fairborn Enterprise Baptist Church, 1614 Stewart Blvd. The interment will be at Byron Cemetery. The family will receive friends at 11 a.m. prior to the service at the church. Condolences can be shared on Barker's obituary page at