Man accused of killing his children wants judge to suppress evidence

By Barbara Grijalva - bio | email

There's new legal maneuvering as trial nears for the Tucson man accused of killing his two young children.

Christopher Payne is charged with first degree murder and could get the death penalty if he's convicted.

Monday Christopher Payne was in a Tucson courtroom as his lawyers asked the judge to throw out the video of the police interview of Payne.

The judge has set a hearing on that motion and several others for next Thursday.

It has been almost two years since Payne was arrested.

His trial is set to begin February 17th.

Attorneys on both sides say they still have been given the chance to review all the evidence and do all the interviews they would like.

The judge is taking a hard line.

"We're running out of time here. We need these things done. We can talk all day about how we'd like to do things. We need to get this trial ready to go. We need to get these things concluded by the end of next week or I'm going to start precluding witnesses," Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields told the attorneys.

The body of Payne's four-year-old daughter, Ariana, was found in a midtown storage facility locker almost two years ago.

The body of her five-year-old brother, Tyler, was never found.

Payne's former girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, has pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder.

In the plea deal, she has agreed to testify against Payne.

Payne and the attorneys will be back in court on January 22nd when the judge will hear several motions, including the defense motion to suppress evidence.