Boyfriend of Church’s manager arrested for her death

Fabeka Hayes

Fabeka Hayes was closing up the Church’s Fried Chicken restaurant at the corner of Hopkins and St. Peter streets Tuesday night, just another day of work in the books.

As she was closing, a single bullet struck the 31-year-old woman.

Police were called to the business around 10:15 p.m. Officers found Hayes on the floor of the restaurant suffering from a single gunshot wound. The Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office declared her dead at the scene.

Early Wednesday morning, police arrested Clarence Joseph Payton, 51, for Hayes’ death. According to the NIPD spokesman, he was Hayes’ boyfriend. Police are treating the murder as a domestic incident.

As of Thursday evening, Payton was still being held without bond in the Iberia Parish Jail awaiting his first court appearance, according to the jail’s website. He is charged with a single count of first-degree murder.

A spokesman for Church’s Fried Chicken released a statement of condolence for Hayes’ death and a plan to give back something to her family.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our employees,” the statement read. “She was a remarkable individual and to know that some who supposedly loved her could do this is unthinkable. Domestic violence is a real problem in this country. Too many lose their life at the hands of their abusers.

“While we remain closed to allow her coworkers, family, and friends time to mourn, we are planning a benefit when we reopen where a portion of the proceeds will be provided to her family.”

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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