The body of Metchosin man Martin Payne was discovered July 12, 2019. He was described by family as “exceptionally gentle” and “caring.” Two escaped inmates from William Head Institution have been charged with his murder. (Facebook/Martin Payne)

Metchosin prison escapees appear in court for murder charges

Inmates face charges in death of 60-year-old Martin Payne

Two prison escapees charged in the 2019 murder of a Metchosin man appeared in court Thursday morning to consult with counsel.

Martin Payne, 60, was found dead in his home on July 12, 2019 – a discovery made after the search for then 42-year-old James Lee Busch and 30-year-old Zachary Armitage, who had escaped from Metchosin’s William Head Institution July 7, 2019.

Two days later, Payne’s red Ford pickup truck was discovered in Oak Bay. That evening the two men were located in Esquimalt by an off-duty RCMP officer.

RELATED: Escaped William Head inmates recognized after commenting on off-duty RCMP officer’s dog

A statement from Payne’s family released July 13, 2019, said he was “deeply loved,” and described him as “exceptionally gentle” and “caring” with unfailing love, support and encouragement.

Before the escape, Armitage was serving a 13-year, 10 month prison sentence for a violent robbery, aggravated assault and other offences. As a result of the escape, an additional year was tacked onto that sentence. Busch was serving an indeterminate sentence for second-degree murder and assault. He has not yet been sentenced for the escape from lawful custody and is set to appear in court for that charge on Aug. 6.

The men are scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 10 for an arraignment hearing on the murder charges.

RELATED: Sc’ianew First Nation chief calls for closure of Metchosin prison

With files from Shalu Mehta.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

crimeprisonWest Shore

Just Posted

So Vancouver Island, you want to defund your police?

Examining what a nearly $10 million RCMP contract gets the people of Campbell River

Opioid crisis and COVID-19 pressing issues for mid-Island’s new medical health officer

Dr. Mike Benusic has been working in his new role with Island Health since July 2

Textured mats at Saanich intersections guide pedestrians with visual impairments

Yellow ‘tactile tiles’ make crossing busy intersections safer, District says

Vancouver Island officials can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

Leaders plead for education, as municipality lacks authority to enforce social distancing in public

Throwback: Parksville Makerspace shows off old Commodore 64 computer

Open house takes place Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Need a doctor in Sooke? You may be in luck

In anticipation of recruiting more doctors, medical clinic accepting applications for a waitlist

Poles mark growing bond between BC Hydro, Campbell River First Nations

Totem poles placed on the John Hart dam site a symbol of a stronger relationship

COVID-19: Modified beach volleyball a hit in Parksville

Organizer happy to get popular summer game going

Nanaimo Fringe Festival productions adapt to new online format

10th annual festival to be live-streamed due to COVID-19

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

Most Read