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Former Harrison inmate charged in murder

A Leopold man arrested earlier this year in Harrison County for committing indecent exposure allegedly sexually assaulted and killed a 15-year-old Spencer County girl last week.
Roy L. Ward has been charged with the July 11 murder of Stacy Payne of Dale.
According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle, Ward entered the Payne home through an unlocked door.
Stacy’s 14-year-old sister, who was also home, heard her screams, saw the attack from the top of a staircase and called 911, police said.
Dale Town Marshal Matt Keller, who was the first to arrive at the Payne home, went in the house and saw Ward standing inside the door with blood all over his clothing and holding a knife in his hand, according to a court affidavit.
Stacy Payne was found on the kitchen floor, about 10 feet inside the home’s front door. She was taken to Huntingburg Hospital then flown to University of Louisville Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 5:15 p.m.
Documents filed in Spencer Circuit Court indicate that Stacy Payne’s clothing were in disarray, suggesting she was sexually attacked. Police are waiting for autopsy results to make that determination.
The 15-year-old girl was a cheerleader and honor student.
Ward has a criminal record, including indecent exposure and harassment charges in Harrison County from an incident in the Corydon Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot on Jan. 5, 1999. He was not arrested until February of this year.
It was not his first arrest.
In 1993, he pleaded guilty but mentally ill in Clark Superior Court to three counts of public indecency. He was placed on probation for three years, but it was extended another four years in 1996.
Then in 1997, he was arrested in Floyd County on public indecency and criminal recklessness charges for allegedly exposing himself to a woman in a grocery store parking lot then following her in his car and attempting to run her off the road. Ward’s probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve two years and 297 days in jail.
Soon after that he was charged with possessing a controlled substance.
He also was paroled from prison while serving a sentence in connection with a convenience-store robbery in Missouri.
Ward is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 3.

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