WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A search of the arrest history and court records reveals more information about one of the suspects in the May 20 murder of Zachary Wood.
Payton Mackenzie Collier, 27, is one of four suspects charged with Wood’s brutal murder in the 2100 block of Brown Street.
Collier is also named as a suspect in a fraudulent renting of a house, and subsequent destruction and theft at that house after she and a man were evicted by police about one year before the murder.
According to affidavits in the murder case, Collier had texted a person the night of the murder, and that person was the one who had called 911 to report a possible assault at the house on Brown Street.
Police later looked at her texts, and say she had reached out to him to come help or pick her up. When he asked her why Collier sent texts that she was beating the **** out of Wood because he stole from her and for him to come help. She also sent a photo of her bloody hand.
Collier has three previous arrests but so far only one conviction for possession of a dangerous drug. Two charges of possession of a dangerous drug and two for possession of marijuana were dismissed.
The case involving the eviction from the house on Talunar Lane is pending along with her murder charge. In that case, in May of 2021, Collier and Bryton Upchurch are alleged to have moved into the house without the owner’s consent.
The property owner or manager called the police to the house where they found a Ford Escape in the driveway. The victim told police she was not renting the home to anyone and it had been vacant for more than a year.
Police made contact with the two occupants, Collier and Upchurch, who they said identified himself as Chadwick Jones, one of his listed aliases.
Authorities said they determined the two had been able to fraudulently rent the house through Craigslist from an unknown person, and moved in, paying the rent with cash and gift cards.
Police checked the house for damage and found none, and allowed the two to get their belongings and leave, after formally being barred from the property.
The victim then left, and returned about four hours later, and found all the windows had been broken, light fixtures smashed, and something had been poured on the new floors.
A window air conditioning unit was also missing. Total damage was estimated at $4,000.
Police found a witness who said she was outside her house when police left earlier, and saw the man and woman loading things in their SUV and saw the man rip the air conditioning unit out of the window.
Police tracked the suspects down, determining that the man calling himself Jones was actually Upchurch and charged them with criminal mischief.
Upchurch was booked back into jail on Friday, June 10, after a warrant was issued when he failed to show up for a court hearing on a stolen gun case.
Police said Collier was also present at another assault in the house on Brown four days before the Wood murder.
At the time of his arrest as another suspect in the Wood murder, Ronnie Lang had an outstanding arrest warrant for an assault of another victim in the house.
On May 16, police went to Kell West Hospital to check on an assault victim who said he had been at the Brown house and had been pistol-whipped.
Follow-up interviews revealed Lang was the suspect, and that Lang allegedly did it because the victim was interested in Lang’s girlfriend, Collier. The assault was recorded, and a video was forwarded to the victim’s brother.
Police said the video shows Lang pulling a gun out of his hoodie pocket and pointing it at the victim then begins to hit him with it.
According to authorities, Collier confirmed the assault and said it was because Lang found out the victim was trying to “mess” with her.