By AJ Flick
By bringing the CPS worker in charge of the neglect claim against Jamie Hallam to the stand, the defense has proven a point it couldn't have intended to make: that Hallam was a fit parent.

One of the defense theories as to broken bones that Ariana Payne suffered was that they came before she and her brother came to live with their father.

Former CPS caseworker Cindy Graupmann testified that she saw Ariana and Tyler Payne twice over a five-month span and they appeared to be healthy and well-cared for.

In fact, she indicted on a case note that the second time she saw the children on a surprise visit, they were snuggled up with their grandfather.

Graupmann asked Hallam to do a test for illegal substances in October 2005, which proved she was clean.

On Feb. 14, 2006, Graupmann talked to Hallam's ex-husband, Chris Payne. Payne told Graupmann that he knew Hallam was cooperating with the CPS investgation and wasn't doing drugs, Graupmann testified.

But despite the fact that Hallam kept in touch with CPS and complied with the drug test, Graupmann told Payne Hallam wasn't cooperating and Graupmann still suspected illegal drug use.

The only thing mentioned in Graupmann's case notes on visits with Hallam that she based the fact on were sores on Hallam's face, which could have been acne, prosecutor Sue Eazer said.

Presumably, Graupmann was also talking to an anonymous source who said Hallam was using drugs, but the jury won't be hearing testimony about anonymous tips.

When Graupmann talked to Payne on Feb. 6, 2006, she suggested he seek custody of the children. At the time, Graupmann testified, she didn't know that Payne had had nothing to do with his children for the past three years and had been keeping them despite Hallam's attempts to get them back.

It wasn't until Graupmann talked to Hallam on Feb. 14, 2006, that she learned Payne had been a deadbeat dad, she testified.

On Feb. 17, 2005, Hallam called Graupmann, concerned that she couldn't reach Payne and that she wanted her children back. Hallam had feared that CPS had taken the children, which Graupmann assured her it had not.

"You didn't try to help her find the kids or tell her the defendant had moved to change custody, did you?" Eazer asked.

"I don't have that in my case note," Graupmann said.

"Do you think if you told her that might or might not be included in the case note?"

"I don't recall," said Graupmann, who worked for CPS from April 2004 to September 2008, when she retired.

"But you did note that you told her to drop?" Eazer said, meaning submit to a drug test.

"That's correct."

Graupmann's testimony was interrupted by the lunch break. She's expected back on the stand shortly after 1 p.m.

Graupmann admitted yesterday outside the courtroom that she had been making disparaging comments about Hallam on the Citizen's trial blog.

In addition, one of Payne's sisters also has been commenting.

In response, Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields ruled today that witnesses were being restricted in the courtroom and being told not to make comments about the case while the trial is going on.

By Kim Smith
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.13.2009
Correction March 14, 2009: A story Friday on Page A15, "Stories Conflict on Payne Kids," should have said Tucson police officers testified Jamie Hallam had a letter saying the CPS investigation against her was over and that she could have the children, but the officers deferred to CPS in leaving the children with their father, Christopher Payne.
Editor's note: Readers, please be advised that the testimony in this trial is disturbing.
A former state Child Protective Services supervisor testified Thursday that she "absolutely did not" instruct Tucson police officers to leave Jamie Hallam's children with their father, Christopher Payne.
Christy Tarpley told defense attorney Rebecca McLean she was asked to participate in a brief telephone conference call between Tucson police Officer William Nutt and caseworker Cindy Graupmann on March 9, 2006.
Graupmann informed her that Hallam — Ariana and Tyler Payne's mother — was at Christopher Payne's apartment to pick up the children, Tarpley said.
Nutt wanted to know if he should give the children to Hallam, Tarpley said.
After she was told Payne, 30, had a signed court order granting him temporary custody of the children and the children appeared to be happy and healthy, Tarpley said she told Nutt, "There's your answer."
Thursday was the second day of the defense's case in Payne's capital murder trial.
Prosecutors believe Payne killed Ariana and Tyler in the summer of 2006 — months after Hallam dropped them off with Payne for what was supposed to be a weekend visit.
An autopsy showed Ariana, 3, suffered multiple broken ribs and a chipped shoulder bone in the weeks or months before she died. Four-year-old Tyler's body has never been found.
Payne is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, multiple counts of child abuse and two counts of concealment of a dead human body. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty.
When interviewed by police, Payne denied physically abusing either child in any way and suggested Ariana's injuries happened while she was living with Hallam. He said CPS told him to keep the children and they starved themselves to death because they wanted to be with their mother.
Defense attorneys have also suggested Ariana was hurt before the children came to live with Payne. However, they contend Payne's live-in girlfriend, Reina Gonzales, starved the children to death. Several witnesses have testified that Gonzales was alone with the children for hours while Payne worked or sold drugs.
The 24-year-old Gonzales, who only admits not helping the children, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence.
At the time Hallam dropped the children off with Payne, she was being investigated for suspected child neglect and drug abuse.
Tarpley testified Hallam was uncooperative with CPS, but Payne was cooperative.
She cited the signed custody papers Nutt told her Payne had as evidence of Payne's cooperativeness. She said he'd been told to seek custody of the children by Graupmann.
Nutt and his backup officer, however, told jurors Payne's documents were not signed by any judge.
They also testified Hallam had a letter in hand saying the CPS investigation was over and she could have the children, but they deferred to CPS in leaving the children with Payne.
Tarpley insisted Thursday she specifically asked Nutt, who was speaking to her on a phone from Payne's apartment, if Payne's documents were signed and he said "yes."
When Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer asked Tarpley if she checked later whether Payne's documents were legal, Tarpley replied she didn't because she was raised to trust police officers.
Tarpley denied being present on March 1, 2006, when Graupmann called Hallam to tell her the neglect and drug abuse investigation was closed, the allegations weren't substantiated and she could pick her children up.
When Eazer showed her documents indicating Tarpley was there, Tarpley said, "I don't deny it, but I don't remember it, either."
Tarpley also insisted that despite the fact Hallam received a letter informing her the case was closed, the case was not closed.
"The case was not closed. The button was not pushed on the computer," Tarpley said.
Such letters aren't supposed to go out until after a supervisor signs off, but at that time the investigations unit was "a mess," Tarpley said.
Tarpley said she closed the case in mid-March 2006, in part because of her conversation with Nutt.
She doesn't know if anyone checked on Ariana and Tyler after March 9, 2006, but she knows she didn't tell anyone to check on them, Tarpley said.
Tarpley also said she can't verify Payne's contention that he called CPS asking for help. She personally didn't get any calls, she said.
Hallam agreed to settle her lawsuit against the state of Arizona and CPS for $1 million in June 2008. Her lawsuit against the Tucson Police Department is still pending.
When interviewed by police, Payne said he believes the children died about two months before he asked a homeless man to rent him a storage unit on North Prince Road. The lease on the unit was signed Sept. 3, 2006.
Graupmann is scheduled to testify this morning.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields is presiding over the case.
On Starnet: Follow the Payne trial on the Star's legal blog "At the Courthouse" at: go.azstarnet.com/courthouse
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com.

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Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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