“This doesn't bring closure, we didn't get to see her,” Howard's daughter Susan Conn said Thursday in the hallway outside the Scioto County Common Pleas courtroom where Payton pleaded guilty to the aggravated murder and rape of his 72-year-old Eden Park neighbor in November 1997.
Conn, and her sister Jane Kitts, said the family was fine with the fact the death penalty specification was dropped.
Payton, whose trial was to begin Monday, was given 20 years to life on the aggravated murder charge and nine years for the rape charge. That sentence is to be served after the 30 years to life sentence he got two years ago in a child rape case. The Portsmouth Daily Times does not publish the names of victims of sex crimes.