Victim: Troy Payton

Thiry-two year old stabbed in the heart with butcher knife by a previously deported criminal alien

Perpetrator: Abimael Azmitia-Montalvos

Crime Description:

On April 24, 2004, Troy Payton, thirty-two years old, was stabbed in the chest with a butcher knife so aggressively he died within minutes. The perpetrator of the crime was Abimael Azmitia-Montalvos, an illegal alien. Azmitia had returned to the United States after being deported, one month before the murder of Troy. (1)

According to police, Azmitia had been “making offensive remarks and gestures” to a 15 year old girl at the Sunrise Vista Executive Suites in Las Vegas, Nevada. (1) A group of men confronted Azmitia and knocked him down. Azmitia returned to his apartment.  

The Paytons and the Azmitias were neighbors. Troy heard Azmitia’s pregnant wife screaming and he ran out of his apartment. Azmitia slashed him deeply in the chest and heart with a butcher knife. He collapsed after taking a few steps. Neighbors recall Troy repeating his wife Tonya’s name. (2) Witness accounts of the crime were varied. It was unclear if Azmitia had been acting in self-defense. Azmitia was not injured. (2) 

Covered in blood, Azmitia ran to a convenience store. Guests of the motel surrounded the store until the police came while neighbors called 911. (2) Troy Payton, 32 years old, loved horses and wanted his ashes spread over an area near Carson City where wild horses were said to roam. He left a wife and four children from their combined marriage.   

Azmitia-Montalvos was charged with suspicion of murder and use of a deadly weapon. He had a prior record of assault and domestic violence in Colorado. Azmitia illegally re-entered the United States after being deported by an immigration judge.  

District Judge Joseph Bonaventure sentenced Azmitia to 19 to 48 months in prison, refusing Azmitia’s request for probation. Judge Bonaventure stated, “He has got to pay somewhat.” (1)


1. Kind-hearted stabbing victim recalled  

2. Man sentenced in fatal stabbing