Walter Payne twice charged with DUI and speeding, with many charges dumped by States Attorney Fritz; hit Lusby man head-on

Walter Lee Payne III crossed center line and hit Lusby man head-on; has extensive driving record of speeding & DUI arrest

CHAPTICO, MD. A Mechanicsville resident operating a Ford Ranger on Rt. 234 crossed the center-line at about 1:30 pm on May 25, 2015 and hit a Infinity operated by a Lusby resident. The crash was witnessed by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Porter who reported that both drivers were flown to trauma units.

Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Team members responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. The preliminary investigation indicated a 2004 Infiniti G35, operated by David M. Hyson, age 53, of Lusby, was traveling eastbound on Budds Creek Road. A 1997 Ford Ranger truck, operated by Walter L. Payne, 3rd., 27, of Mechanicsville, was traveling westbound on Budds Creek Road. Police say that for unknown reasons, the driver of the Ford Ranger crossed the center line and struck the Infiniti head on. Both drivers were last listed in stable condition.    

Contributing factors are undetermined at this time. Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Deputy First Class Brandon Foor ID #235 at 301.475.4200 X 2265.

Payne has a record of several speeding tickets and a DUI arrest which was dumped by St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz in 2013.

Payne was cited by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Dep. Margaret Smolarsky on Dec. 5, 2012 for speeding in a 2002 BMW and on Feb. 14, 2013, Payne entered into a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz. Payne was fined $80 in St. Mary’s County District Court.

Payne was cited by Maryland State Trooper Mike Laney with speeding, reckless driving, failing to obey traffic control devices and driving under the influence on Rt. 5 on Aug. 19, 2012 at 2:56 am. In St. Mary’s District Court on Jan. 1, 2013, States Attorney Richard Fritz dropped the charges.  No fine, no points, no time.

Payne was cited by Maryland State Trooper Kyle Morris on Feb. 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm with negligent driving and failing to stop at the scene of a crash after hitting an unattended vehicle.  The incident took place on Rt. 242 and Dr. Johnson Road in Morganza while Payne was operating a 2013 Ford.  On May 20, 2015, just five days prior to this crash, he was once again the recipient of the law of St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz who dropped the charge.  Payne was represented by Amber Wetzel, a taxpayer-provided public defender and in spite of driving a one year old vehicle, apparently qualified for a welfare attorney.

Payne was arrested for DUI on Jan. 21, 2010 by Deputy James Stone which resulted in a Guilty plea and probation before judgment. In that case, Payne was sentenced to 60 days in jail in a plea deal with States Attorney Richard Fritz. The jail sentenced was suspended to serving only one day in jail and paying a fine of $192.50. In this case, Payne was represented by a welfare attorney public defender.

Payne was cited by Maryland State Trooper Mersman on Sept. 15, 2013 for driving with a suspended registration. In a plea deal with States Attorney Richard Fritz, on Dec. 18, 2013, he was given a Christmas present of having the charge put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.

Payne was cited by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy W. Watters on June 23, 2008 with failing to stop after an accident involving damage to an occupied vehicle. In a plea deal with States Attorney Richard Fritz, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail on Sept. 2, 2008.

Payne was arrested for assault in Charles County, Md., on Oct. 13, 2009 and in a plea deal with the Charles County States Attorney Leonard Collins on Aug. 13, 2010 that charge along with a charge of malicious property destruction were both put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time. Payne’s welfare attorney was Caprisha Greene of the Public Defender’s Office in La Plata.

Payne was arrested for possession of pot on April 24, 2006 by Maryland State Trooper Quade. In St. Mary’s District Court in a plea deal with States Attorney Richard Fritz, Payne’s charge was put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.

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