Corrections Officer Donna A. Payant

Corrections Officer Donna A. Payant

New York State Department of Correctional Services, New York

End of Watch Friday, May 15, 1981

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Donna A. Payant

Corrections Officer Donna Payant was attacked and strangled by an inmate at the Green Haven Correctional Facility. The inmate was serving three consecutive life sentences for kidnapping and murdering two women.

She was lured to the prison chaplain's office by the perpetrator posing as another corrections employee. Her assailant was working in the chaplain's office at the time. After killing her, the inmate wrapped her body in plastic, stuffed it into a 55-gallon drum, and disposed of it in a dumpster. When she came up missing, the prison was locked down and searched. No trace was found, but search dogs traced her scent to the dumping area. The next morning the landfill was searched, and her body was found.

The prisoner, 39, was convicted of Officer Payant's murder and sentenced to death on June 10th, 1983. One year later his sentence was commuted to a fourth life sentence. His parole eligibility date is in October 2028.

Officer Payant was the first known state female correctional officer in the nation to be killed in the line of duty. She was survived by her husband, a prison guard, two sons, and a daughter.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 1 month
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Apprehended

correctional Facility, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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#MetooamDONNAPAYANT!! I’m currently a NYS CO and now with a post out of prison, I remind myself each day that I was almost this woman.. An I/I ask for cleaning supplies one day and as I entered a room he was behind me punching me in the face , ripping my shirt open , removing my pas and camera while kneeing me in between my legs while on top of me.. my dorm heard me screaming g and came to my aide. This individual had an infectious disease which I had to take a cocktail for two months to prevent an infection… when I work a post that has her name I stop and HONOR her.. we I speak to senators about halt or at women conferences I say her name PROUDLY!! She died for the state of NY!!SHE DIED FOR ME!!RIP CO PAYANT

CO Hayes

June 1, 2023

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