A warrant was issued in Tulsa County District Court on Friday for a man prosecutors say is responsible for Tulsa’s first homicide of the year.
Kent Kierston “Cowboy” Payne, 35, is charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 5 killing of Donza Settles in north Tulsa.
Settles, 30, was found shot in the parking lot of the Towne Square apartments, 1616 E. Young St., just before midnight. He was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly thereafter.
Surveillance footage showed Settles parking behind an SUV in the parking lot before the SUV’s driver and front-seat passenger approached him.
The SUV’s occupants later told detectives they spoke with Settles before going to an apartment in the complex while a man to whom they had given a ride, later identified as Payne, “lingered” in their car, the affidavit states.
While the two were away, they reported hearing a gunshot followed by three or four more rounds.
Surveillance video reportedly shows Settles approach the car with Payne inside while the other two were away before a cloud of smoke is visible and Settles falls to the ground where he was later found. The three casings located near him and the three bullet holes in the lower portion of the car indicate that Settles shot back after he fell, the affidavit states.
Two casings were discovered inside the SUV, from which Payne fled on foot about a minute after the shooting, according to the affidavit.
Payne has previously been convicted in Tulsa County of pointing a firearm, assault and battery on a police officer, eluding a police officer, possessing stolen property and DUI. He was discharged from his last probation in December 2019, according to online Department of Corrections records.
If arrested, he will be held in lieu of $1 million bond.
Anyone with information about Payne’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677), at bit.ly/TCStips or through the Tulsa Tips app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play or iTunes stores.
Tipsters may remain anonymous, and cash rewards are paid for information leading to arrests.