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Father remembers life of son Landon Payne
It's a case that shocked the town of Minden. Just over three years ago Landon Payne died as a result of child abuse and neglect by some of his own family members.
Prosecutors say for months the Minden boy was tortured and beaten at the hands of his aunt Sharon Turnell, her husband Charles and their daughter's ex-husband Dustin Scoville.
The department of Health and Human Services in Nebraska is facing a one million dollar lawsuit dealing with Landon's death.
Landon's father, Clinton Payne was serving time in jail during the ordeal.
But today he is back in Nebraska and sat down exclusively with News 5's Katie Gauthier.
"Thomas the train was his favorite cartoon, it's my favorite picture."
Landon Payne was a four year old boy who loved cartoons. Landon's mother, Samantha Head and father, Clinton Payne, separated.
In 2007, Clinton was granted full custody of Landon and his sister.
However, Clinton Payne was charged with credit card fraud and sent to prison.
Soon after, Landon and his sister were put into the care of Sharon Turnell, Clinton's sister.
"I grew up with Sharon, you know we were best friends as kids. I never thought for a second that anything could happen to my kid."
But unfortunately something did happen, abuse and neglect.
"I got a call December 21st, I was in Springfield and it was the people at Good Samaritan Hospital telling me what happened, that Landon was on life support. He was going to die and I had to make the decision to take him off a life support. (Crying) I couldn't do it."
The next day Landon was taken off life support.
"He had some type of large bruise on his body and they said he was emaciated and that he had chunks of hair ripped out of and that his head was cracked open in two spots."
Severe abuse that had been going on for some time.
News 5: Do you ever think that you could contact your sister again?
"I can never forgive anyone who would hurt a child and I can never forgive the people who killed my son."
But some of the abuse had been reported.
"Neighbors called, what were there 59 calls in two years and never any investigation."
News 5: What do you want to see changed?
"I'd like these people to be held accountable for their actions, for their inactions, for not investigating what happened I mean so many calls."
News 5: So you think that more should have been done then?
"The people, the man who directly killed my son, should never see the light of day again.
"There was one time that I got to talk to him and that was in December right before he died. Sharon was at Walmart buying Christmas gifts and the kids were there. That was the last time I got to talk to him."
News 5: How do you want Landon to be remembered?
"He would have undoubtedly been somebody great. You know I've spent a lot of time around many kids, but he was so smart. It's not just about keeping Landon's memory alive, like I said it's about raising awareness."
Clinton just got released from parole last week. He moved back to Kearney Thursday and has been staying at Crossroads but he plans to move into a new place in just a few weeks. And he starts a new job on Monday.
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