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Not guilty plea for accused El Cajon "frying pan killer" at halfway house

Brad Payton frying pan
Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 20:29:56-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - The El Cajon man who is accused of beating his roommate to death with a frying pan says he's not guilty. Brad Payton showed no expression as he was arraigned on Thursday afternoon in front of an El Cajon judge.

An attorney spoke for Payton who entered the “not guilty” plea during the video-streamed initial court appearance since the attack, which happened exactly one week ago. Deputy DA Carlos Campbell told 10News that the crime comes with a sentencing of 26 years to life in prison.

The attack happened before sunrise at an independent living facility on Naranca Avenue in El Cajon. Police say the two men were heard arguing before 25 year-old Payton allegedly grabbed a frying pan and beat the other man to death.

10News spoke to the victim's mother on the day he was attacked, before she knew he died. She said he suffered from a developmental disability and didn’t like to follow the rules, which was how he ended up at the living facility. His name has still not been released by the Medical Examiner’s Office. The county lists the property where the attack happened as a home to those with physical or mental disabilities.

Payton’s bail was set at $2 million.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 10th.