Final defendant in Payne murder sentenced to prison

LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – The final defendant in the murder of a Dayton teenager was sentenced Wednesday.

Michael Geldrich was sentenced in Warren County court to 22 years to life in prison.

“I’ve been trying to learn to accept the things I cannot change. I made a terrible mistake,” lamented Geldrich.

He was convicted of aggravated murder for the death of 16-year-old Dione Payne.

In December 2013, Geldrich along with Michael Watson tied up Payne with duct tape, placed a pillow case over his head, and beat him with a wooden table leg. The two used Adam Patrick’s pickup truck to dump Payne off at the Atrium Medical Center. But Payne’s injuries were too severe and he later died.

Wednesday’s sentencing was all part of an agreement after Geldrich cooperated in the prosecution of Watson.

“I hate myself for what I’ve done and I cannot imagine the pain that Dione’s mother and family has gone through with the loss of their son,” stated Geldrich.

Prosecutors said Payne was staying at Geldrich’s Vernon Street home in exchange for drugs. But the deal turned sour when Geldrich felt he wasn’t getting enough drugs.

Payne’s mother was too distraught to be in court. A statement was read in her absence that read in part. “Geldrich, you are the leader of them all, and what you said to do they did. You killed my baby to support your heroin habit… You are the one who has to suffer and face life behind prison bars. All I have are memories of my Dione.”

Geldrich didn’t ask for forgiveness; instead, he asked for closure.

“I only pray that Dion’s mother and family will one day find peace,” said Geldrich.

Adam Patrick and Michael Watson are already serving time for the crime.

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