Woman says she blacked out during fatal clash with brother; Judge disallows her guilty plea — (The Boston Globe)

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The Boston Globe

 August 15, 2007

 John R. Ellement

Kathy Booth said she became angry when she argued with her brother over a television remote. Booth said she became furious when her brother spurned her advice on how he should raise his children.

She said she became fearful when her brother’s hands closed around her throat. And she said she was in a blackout when her brother dropped his makeshift weapon, a large curtain rod, on the floor of their Dorchester home.

“That’s when I stabbed him,” the 43-year-old said in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday. “He was like staggering. … That’s when I snapped out of it and realized what I had did. … He was lying in a pool of blood, face down.”

But even though Booth admitted under oath that she killed 44-year- old Keith Payne on June 1, 2006, a Superior Court judge refused yesterday to let the Dorchester woman plead guilty to second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence with possibility of parole after 15 years.

Booth, according to both the defense and prosecution, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had stopped taking her medications for some time before she killed her brother in the family home. At the time of the murder, Booth’s family tried to get her back on her medications. “It just didn’t happen in time.”

 

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Woman admits stabbing her brother to death — Universal Hub

October 17, 2008

Kathy Booth, 44, today pleaded guilty to stabbing her older brother, Keith Payne, in the heart in a fit of anger in 2006 because he was living in their mother’s Dorchester home, which meant there was no room for her.

Booth’s plea came on a charge of second-degree murder in Suffolk Superior Court, which means that while she was sentenced to life, she becomes eligible for parole in 15 years, according to the Suffolk County DA’s office, which initially charged her with first-degree murder for Payne’s death on June 1, 2006 at 34 Mallon Rd. The DA’s office recited a victim statement by their sister, Addie Payne:

I didn’t want to forgive her at first, but I do forgive her. She’s acknowledged what she did and it helps the healing process … We miss [Keith] so much. The family’s so different now. Everyone’s so devastated by tragedy. I wanted to hate [Kathy] but I don’t.

Prosecutors say that had the case gone to trial, they would have had witnesses testify that Booth had told them in the weeks before she stabbed her brother that she could get away with killing him because she had a mood disorder:

On the night of the incident, Payne came upstairs from his basement room and used the bathroom. After he left the bathroom, others in the home saw and heard Booth yelling at him.

Witnesses then heard movement in the hallway and the sound of something hitting the ground. They then heard Booth call out, “Ma, I stabbed Keith.”

When others came to see what had happened, they observed Booth holding a bloody kitchen knife and standing above the mortally-wounded Payne.