Michael Watson sentenced to 29 years to life in teen's beating death

LEBANON, Ohio -- The mother of a 16-year-old beaten to death over drugs lashed out at his killer at sentencing Friday.

Michael Watson, 40, of Franklin, was sentenced to 29 years to life.

Authorities said Watson and another man fatally beat Dione Payne to steal drugs and money from him. Payne was left at a hospital Dec. 1 and died.

Watson apologized in court Friday, but Tamiko Payne wasn't buying it.

"You know I was trying to save this kid. I never thought it was going to go this far. I'm not a murderer. I'm not none of this," Watson said.

"I'm sorry for everybody's family involved in this."

The victim's mother rebuked Watson.

"As you sit in your jail cell, I want you to weep and weep until you can't weep any more," Tamiko Payne said to him.

"Through the whole eight months he never showed no remorse," Payne said later. "He didn't show no remorse when I took the stand Tuesday, so what he said today didn't do nothing to me."

RELATED: Dione Payne homicide: Third man charged in death of Dayton, Ohio teen

Watson showed little emotion in the courtroom on Tuesday when photos of the bloody and beaten Payne were shown on a large screen to jurors, but later he wept beside his attorney during a morning break.

Payne's mother testified he had been so badly beaten that it looked like he had been in a boxing match, according to Journal-News.

She testified that because of her son's injuries, she had to identify him by tattoos on his arm.

Debbie Kalp, a nurse at Atrium, told jurors she was on duty the night Payne was dropped off at the hospital and pointed to Watson as the person who wheeled him into the emergency department.

In closing arguments Thursday, both defense and prosecuting attorneys said it’s unlikely Watson went to the Franklin home that morning to kill Payne.

But as Watson continued to relentlessly kick Payne in the head, Assistant Prosecutor Teresa Hiett told jurors,  Watson’s intent to simply hurt the boy changed.

“You cannot kick somebody that many times in the head and say, ‘I just wanted to give him a little warning,’” Hiett said.

Watson was found guilty of murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and tampering with evidence.

"From Day 1, I said justice will be served and justice has been served," Tamika Payne said after sentencing Friday.

"It won't bring back my son, but as long as I know they can't hurt anyone else and their families, I'm OK."

Court officials said the other defendant, Michael Geldrich, pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated murder. He will be sentenced later.

MORE: Michael Geldrich guilty in beating death of 16-year-old

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