Centreville man receives death penalty recommendation for 2015 murder in Tuscaloosa


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa County jury reached a unanimous decision recommending the death penalty for a man convicted of capital murder of a 29-year-old woman in 2015.

Michael Belcher was convicted in December of 2015 for the death of Samantha Payne. Her body was found one week after her death by hunters who discovered her in the forest near South Sandy Road.

The warrant for Michael Belcher states that Payne may have been stabbed to death, court documents say. Investigators know that Payne and Belcher knew each other and were together a few days prior to her murder.

In December of 2015, five people were charged in connection to the murder of Payne. Investigators believed that Payne, Belcher, and others were together in Bibb County on the night of November 1, 2015. They also said they believed Payne was assaulted by Belcher, on or around Nov. 2, 2015, and then driven to the area where her remains were discovered by the hunters.

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