Beating suspect behind bars, but the family is not resting easy
Updated: Friday, April 5 2013, 10:45 PM EDT
KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A man accused of nearly beating his girlfriend to death has been officially charged, but the victim’s family isn’t resting easy yet.
On Friday a Kalamazoo judge arraigned 41-year-old trained fighter Arthur Payne on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and aggravated domestic violence.
Payne had been on the run for nearly a week after a neighbor found Stephanie Janssen lying in a pool of blood at the couple’s apartment in Oshtemo Township.
Janssen’s family tells Newschannel 3 that their main concern is that no one knows where Stephanie Janssen is, so if Arthur Payne does post bond and is let out of the county jail, he will not be able to find her.
“He’s in custody at the sheriff’s department,” said Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas. “His state of mind is not good at the moment to be released, he would pose a threat to the public and probably the family involved.”
That’s why the victim’s mother, Alice Janssen, told Newschannel 3 that she was surprised to hear the judge give Payne a $100,000 cash bond after he is accused of brutally beating her daughter in front of her children.
“Of course as a parent I wished he didn’t have bond,” said Alice, “but I understand that’s how the justice system works.”
If Payne were to post bond, the judge has ordered that he have no contact with the victim, possess no weapons and wear an electronic monitoring device.
Undersheriff Matyas says sometimes suspects don’t understand how to stay away.
“All these start with ‘I’m sorry,’ but the message in here is you better not follow up or I’ll be coming back,” said Matyas.
A reality that the Janssen family says is all too common.
“Stephanie’s situation may have been an extreme beating,” said Alice, “but there are woman around this nation facing the same thing and I want to say to these women, don’t give a second chance, get out of the situation.”
Payne does have a history of violence against women, including three personal protection orders that have been filed against him since 1998.
Currently Janssen’s family says their focus is on getting her better. They are hoping to set up a fund to raise money to help pay for her medical costs. As soon as the details of that are available, Newschannel 3 will pass that information along.