Rebecca Payne: Killer thought Northeastern student was someone else, says DA

Nicolas and Virginia Payne, the parents of murdered NU student Rebecca Payne, speak to reporters after the arraignment of their daughter's accused killer.

The parents of a Northeastern student killed in her own Mission Hill apartment finally got to see today the man accused of shooting their daughter.

Cornell Smith, 30, is accused of gunning down Rebecca Payne in her Mission Hill apartment in 2008 in a case of mistaken identity. He pleaded not guilty.

Payne’s parents, Nicholas and Virginia, watched Smith walk in and out of the Suffolk Superior courtroom for his arraignment this morning.

After the hearing they both spoke to reporters with tears in their eyes.

“He was strolling in there like he was standing in line for something,” said Nicholas Payne. “He showed no remorse … like it was just another day.

“We know our daughter spent her last moments looking at him and having no clue what this idiot was doing in her apartment,” he said.

Virginia Payne said it was “heart-wrenching” to see the man who killed their daughter.

“Looking at that face, that’s the reason she’s not here, because of him,” she said.

Prosecutors said Smith, who is already in jail for an unrelated drug charge, became involved in a dispute and a fight over drugs with someone before the shooting.

He “developed a disagreement with somebody who looked like, at least from quite a distance, Ms. Payne and who lived in the same building,” said Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum.

Payne had returned from work at Legal Sea Foods the night of her murder. At about 3:30 a.m., Smith climbed the outdoor porch to her apartment, broke in and shot her multiple times, prosecutors said.

The four-year investigation was hindered in part because of another man, prosecutors said.

Michael Balba, 55, of Billerica, was allegedly seeking to fuel his cocaine addiction when he drove Smith to Payne’s apartment. The murder occurred while Balba was getting high, prosecutors said.

Balba allegedly lied to investigators and a grand jury during the inquiry despite having immunity.

He pleaded not guilty earlier this year to four counts of perjury.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.