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Texas Man With Intellectual Disabilities Sentenced For Murdering His Sleeping Father

Local reports say Payden Allen was diagnosed with some traits of autism and told psychologists he feared his father. 

Payden Allen Pd

A Texas man whose mother said he had "autistic tendencies" was found guilty of shooting his father in the head as the man slept on the couch.

Payden Allen was 18 years-old when he fatally shot Brandon Allen in 2017, according to the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office. On Tuesday, a Hockley County jury found him guilty of murdering his father, despite defense testimony that the Payden, now 23, has intellectual disabilities.

“The incident was thoroughly investigated in a partnered effort that resulted in a criminal trial, a guilty verdict and a prison sentence,” said the sheriff’s office, who thanked the Texas Rangers and the District Attorney’s Office for their help in the investigation.

Authorities were dispatched to Brandon Allen's Nevada Road residence near Anton, Texas — 25 miles northwest of Lubbock — at approximately 8:30 p.m. on June 10, 2017, after receiving calls “related to a welfare check,” according to the original release from the sheriff’s office. Relatives had grown concerned when Brandon Allen, 47, failed to show up at a family reunion 400 miles away in San Antonio. They called a neighbor to conduct a welfare check, and that person found Brandon dead.

Brandon Allen had sustained a single gunshot wound, according to NBC affiliate KCBD News, while court records obtained by Lubbock Online said he was found lying on the couch.

“We grieve for the family and friends of those involved in this tragedy and offer our continued prayers and support,” said Sheriff Scifres. “Due to the cooperation of the multiple agencies, an arrest was made of the individual believed to be responsible for this tragedy within hours of the incident.”

Texas Rangers arrested Payden Allen in nearby Lubbock in the early morning hours of June 11, 2017. According to Lubbock Online, the then-teenager allegedly confessed to the shooting, stating his father was asleep when he pulled the trigger.

Days later, Payden Allen’s mother released a statement in which she said her son had intellectual special needs.

“My prayers are with my son, who suffers from multiple autistic tendencies since birth, and my ex-husband’s family,” said Brandie Allen. “This is a tragedy that no family should endure. As facts continue to come out, I hope the public will respect us and our privacy to sort out what transpired.

“My son is not your ‘normal’ teenager,” she continued. “I hope people become more aware of disabilities and how important it is to make sure they are addressed and medical attention is available to them. As well as making sure firearms are kept safely away from those that require special needs and attention.”

Payden Allen’s intellectual disability was the focus of his defense at his murder trial, which began on March 9.

According to KCBD, two psychologists testified that Payden does have an intellectual disability, displaying autistic patterns. During their interviews with the defendant, Payden claimed he feared his father, who had caused him to lose consciousness on five occasions.

It was not clear how Payden said his father did this.

Payden’s caregivers also alleged that Payden had become “aggressive” shortly before the shooting, reporting he hid weapons and raised his voice.

Payden’s mental and intellectual state were factors when he was granted bond and released into his mother’s care from the county jail following his 2017 indictment, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Bond was reduced when Brenda Nock, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5, examined a psychological evaluation.

On Wednesday, the judge sentenced Payden Allen to 47 years behind bars and ordered him to pay a $4,000 fine.

“We continue to be thankful for the valued partnerships that make investigations like these possible,” stated the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office.

Calls to the Hockley County District Attorney and Payden’s defense attorney were not immediately returned to Oxygen.com.

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