A multi-convicted felon accused of fatally beating a fellow inmate at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta is due back in court a week from Thursday.

Micky Rodney Payne, 33, of Perris allegedly killed 24-year-old Mark Anthony Spratt of Fontana on Jan. 12.

Payne pleaded not guilty to murder and battery on a custodial officer during an arraignment Wednesday at the Southwest Justice Center.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer scheduled a status conference for Jan. 26, in part to confirm whether a preliminary hearing slated for Jan. 31 should go forward or be reset.

Payne remains held without bail at the Murrieta jail.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Baeza, about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, correctional deputies were alerted to a “disturbance” in one of the cells and went to investigate, at which point they discovered Spratt “unresponsive with several injuries.”

Court records indicate that the defendant became physical with correctional officers when they entered his cell, but no specific details were provided.

Baeza said that first aid was rendered at the scene, and Spratt was taken to a regional trauma center, where he died.

Central Homicide Unit detectives were summoned to question the victim’s cellmate, Payne, culminating in his formal arrest inside the correctional facility, according to the sergeant.

A possible motive and further information regarding what might have transpired in the jail cell were not disclosed.

According to court records, Payne has prior convictions for battery on a public safety official, resisting arrest, attempting to take a peace officer’s firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, spousal abuse and false imprisonment.

He had been booked into the southwest county detention facility on Dec. 30 for alleged probation violations.

Jail records indicated that Spratt was arrested in Jurupa Valley on Jan. 10 on suspicion of identity theft and forgery. It was unclear whether prosecutors intended to file charges against him. He was being held on $10,000 bail at the time of the attack.

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