During a pre-trial hearing this week, the attorney of a man charged with the 2008 death of Rebecca Payne of New Milford quit the case when client Cornell Smith hit him in the head.
The 22-year old was shot in her Boston apartment in a case of mistaken identity. Since that time, her parents and others have raised money for a scholarship in Rebecca's name. Her father, Nicholas Payne says $63,000 has been raised.
The Rebecca Payne Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an athletic training student in New England. The first recipient of the Rebecca Payne Memorial Scholarship was a Quinnipiac University student.
The scholarship needed at least $54,000 to be endowed. The National athletic Training Association says having the scholarship endowed will ensure many more students will be able to follow in Rebecca's footsteps and pursue a career she loved.
All proceeds from the Rebecca Payne Memorial Tennis Tournament held in New Milford in 2010 went towards the scholarship fundraising.