Payne retold the harrowing account of his involvement the night of the shootings and admitted he was in the car with Tabler when the 28-year-old shot Rahmouni and Zayed.
Payne said the night began with an invitation from Tabler to go on a ride, one which evolved into the execution of Tabler's plot to get revenge on Rahmouni for disrespecting him and failing to pay him money. Payne said Tabler lured Rahmouni to a remote location in Killeen on a pretense of selling stolen stereos. But Tabler's true intent became known only at the end, he said.
"(Tabler) told me that he wasn't selling Amine any stolen stereo equipment; he said if Amine didn't have the money, he was going to shoot him," Payne testified. "Then I hear two gunshots I did not know that was going to happen. I was looking out the passenger window."
Payne breathed heavily as he admitted doing as Tabler demanded.
"I was freaking out and panicking," Payne said. "Richard told me to look in Amine's pockets for money. I didn't want to reach in and touch anything, (but) I did. As I was reaching, the man's head fell forward and hit my arm, and I pulled my arm back real quick. I said, 'Richard, let's get out of here.' He said he wasn't leaving yet."
Those acts left Zayed dead in the driver's seat and Rahmouni struggling for life.
"He told me to go get the video camera – I did," Payne testified. "He asked me to pull the driver out of the vehicle. I pointed the camera towards Tabler. Richard said something to Amine. Amine was gurgling and his hand was up in the air. Then Richard shot him once in the head.
The murders took place in November 2004. At the time, Payne was a soldier at Fort Hood.