Doris Payne, who has stolen about $2 million in jewelry over the last six decades and reflected on her crimes in a documentary, is now too sick to withstand trial, according to a document filed in Fulton County Superior Court.
Payne’s trial was scheduled to start Feb. 21, nearly 16 months after authorities said she stole a pair of Christian Dior earrings from Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in October 2015.
However, the case is now on indefinite hold, according to an administrative order signed by Deputy Chief Judge Alford J. Dempsey Jr. on Feb. 23.
“The Defendant in this matter has demonstrated, by and through her counsel, that her current medical condition(s) preclude this matter from moving forward toward final resolution," Dempsey said in the order.
“Should the Defendant’s condition change for the better this matter will be reviewed at that time,” he said in the order.
It isn’t the first time Payne’s health has halted proceedings.
At the time of the alleged theft at Phipps Plaza, Payne had a warrant out for her arrest in North Carolina on another theft charge, according to Fulton County jail records.
“We called and talked to (officials in North Carolina) and they decided they wouldn’t extradite her, which is often the case, for a bunch of reasons,” Payne’s attorney Shawn McCullers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2015. “We voiced our concerns about the frailty of her health.”
Her health, however, has not slowed her alleged activities.
Payne, 86, was most recently arrested Dec. 13, 2016, at the Von Maur department store inside Perimeter Mall after she allegedly stole a diamond necklace, Dunwoody police said in an incident report.
Her arraignment in that matter is set for March 6 in DeKalb County Superior Court.
A 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” depicted Payne as a career criminal who began when she was in her 20s. Over the years, Payne has dressed in fine clothes with deep pockets, charmed sales workers at high-end department stores, distracted them and slipped out with expensive jewelry, The AJC previously reported.
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