Tuscaloosa Co. capital murder suspect appears in court

Final trial in Samantha Payne torture death

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Day five of the Michael Belcher capital murder trial started in Tuscaloosa with a homicide investigator testifying about what he found at the crime scene.

Jason Mellown described Samantha Payne’s partially decomposed body still being tied to a tree. He also showed jurors and explained a series of crime scene pictures and some of the car he believes was used to take Payne from Bibb County to the Talledega National Forest.

That’s where Michael Belcher and four others are accused of killing Payne after they tortured her in November 2015.

Mellown says three different tests discovered blood in the car they say belonged to Payne.

Payne’s family sat in the front row behind prosecutors. They didn’t want to comment on the case until the jury reaches a verdict.

Belcher could face the death penalty if he’s convicted. Prosecutors could have as many as two more witnesses to testify before resting their case.

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