Killeen Man Murdered 29 Years Ago, Trial Ends With Hung Jury - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Killeen Man Murdered 29 Years Ago, Trial Ends With Hung Jury


By John Elizondo

SAN FRANCISCO - A jury deliberated for three days, but was unable to make a unanimous decision in a case involving the death of a Killeen man 29 years ago.

District Attorney George Gascon said "We are disappointed with the outcome and will be evaluating how to proceed with this case."

According to prosecutors, William Payne was arrested in January of this year for allegedly strangling Nikolaus Crumbley, who was found dead at the intersection of John Shelley Dr. and Mansell St. in McLaren Park on Nov. 16, 1983.

Crumbley, a resident of Killeen, Texas, had been staying in San Francisco and was seen prior to his death with another man at a local hotel, according to the arrest warrant affidavit for Payne. He was found early the morning of Nov. 16, 1983, with his pants and underwear pulled down below his knees.

A swab of Crumbley's rectum taken during his autopsy was tested by the San Francisco crime lab in 2004. The test found semen that was matched to Payne in the state Department of Justice's DNA database in 2009, according to the affidavit.

Payne's attorney said Payne was initially questioned by investigators after Crumbley's death and "cooperated with police and never fled San Francisco" in the 28-plus years since the killing. Prosecutor Michael Swart noted that Payne might not have been able to flee because "he's been in prison or county jail most of the time."

Payne's previous convictions include kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault in 1986, robbery in 1992, DUI causing bodily injury in 1998, and assault causing great bodily injury in 2008, Swart said.

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