A Pine Belt man’s rape and kidnapping trail is underway in Lamar County.
Howard “Lil Dank” Payton was indicted in August 2014 for kidnapping and three counts of rape in connection to an incident that occurred in September 2010 in Lamar County.
Members of the 15th Circuit Court District, District Attorney’s Office as well as Payton, who is representing himself, went through jury selection and a jury was seated for the trial.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 19, 2010, in Lamar County, Payton did willfully, intentionally, and feloniously, without lawful authority for doing so, forcibly seize, confine, and kidnap, with intent to cause the victim to be confined or imprisoned against her will, by forcing the victim into a vehicle and holding her against her will.
The three counts of rape state that Payton did have forcible sexual intercourse with the victim.
The trial will continue Tuesday morning at the Lamar County Courthouse.
Payton is listed as a habitual offender, who has been convicted of sale of a controlled substance in Forrest County in August 2001.
Payton was sentenced to 10 years, with two years to serve, with eight years suspended on post release.
Another offense lists that Payton was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Lamar County in February 2004.
He was sentenced to eight years in MDOC custody with one year to serve and seven years suspended post release supervision.
Another offense lists Payton was convicted in July 2010 in Forrest County for possession of a controlled substance.
He was sentenced to serve an eight-year term, with eight years suspended on post release supervision.
Payton was arrested in Hattiesburg in October 2011 in the shooting death of Marco Harris, 33 that occurred at the Chevron gas station on Old Mississippi 42.
Payton has remained in custody since.