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Purvis, MS 15th Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell announces that on January 7, 2016, Howard “Lil Dank” Payton, 38, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was found guilty by a Lamar County Jury of kidnapping and three counts of rape. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorneys Lauren Barnes Harless and Doug Miller and the defendant represented himself. Payton was sentenced immediately following the guilty verdict to thirty (30) years on the kidnapping and life less one day on each of the three rape charges as a habitual offender. District Attorney Hal Kittrell states, “This case is a lady’s worst nightmare – to be kidnapped and raped three times by a predator. I cannot describe the courage it took for this victim to testify about these horrors in the courtroom. We thank her from the bottom of our hearts and sincerely hope she can rest easier knowing Payton is staying in prison. We would also like to thank all law enforcement officers involved for a job well done and thank the jury for their service. These sentences amount to three days less than 150 years for Mr. Payton to serve day for day in prison with no hope of early release or parole.”