Father Files Claim with the State of Nebraska for Death of Landon Payne


The father of Landon Payne, a 4-year-old boy who died as a result of child abuse, is filing a wrongful death claim against the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinton Payne, 40, of South Dakota has filed the $1 million claim because he says state officials should have taken the boy into protective custody after multiple reports were made concerning Landon's safety.

Clinton Payne says social workers made more than 50 contacts with his sister, Sharon Turnell, and her husband, Charles Turnell, who his son was living with. Landon was living with the Turnells because Clinton Payne was at that time in a South Dakota prison.

Landon died at Good Samaritan hospital in Kearney in 2009 from blunt force trauma to the head -- an injury that Sharon Turnell said was caused by the boy jumping from a bunk bed.

Court documents say the boy was malnourished, physically and emotionally abused and "subjected to various forms of torture and mental distress too numerous and perverse to mention."

Dustin Scoville and Sharon Turnell were sentenced to 49-to-50 years in prison. Charles Turnell, who was not home at the time of the incident, was sentenced to 19-to-20 years.