RICHMOND, Texas – A judge refused Monday to lower the bond for a man accused of killing an 8-year-old girl after a crash last month.
Wearing T-shirts with her picture on them, De'Maree's family sat in the Fort Bend County court room as Payton appeared before a judge.
The judge set Payton's bond at $500,000.
Investigators said De’Maree was riding in the back seat of a car being driven by her mother, Latoyia Thomas, when the vehicle was involved in a crash.
Investigators said a white Pontiac Grand Prix and a dark, four-door sedan were speeding down West Fuqua Street when the Pontiac slammed into Thomas’ vehicle.
Thomas told investigators that after the crash, the driver of the Pontiac jumped into the dark sedan. She said the dark sedan pulled up next to her car and an armed person rolled down a window, leaned out and began shooting at Thomas’ car.
"She said to me the driver struck his left hand out the window and shot," a detective said.
De’Maree was hit and killed.
"She heard her daughter moaning in the back and saw that her daughter was bleeding from her chest," the detective said.
Payton had a notably different appearance during Monday’s hearing, sporting a shaved head instead of the dreadlocks he had in his mugshot.
"The defendant admits to being there. He also admits to actually hearing the gun shots. The car matches the defendant's car," a prosecutor said.
Payton’s attorney argued Monday that his client’s bond should be lowered, saying prosecutors do not have enough evidence to convict.