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Citizen Arrested for Shooting Man Attacking His Wife

Vassar Township, Michigan — A Bay City man is in jail pending an investigation for a shooting his lawyer says was in defense of a woman being attacked by her husband.

According to Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office, on July 4th at around 11:32 p.m. deputies were dispatched to a residence located on Brown Road in Vassar Township for a call about a man attacking his wife.

Before deputies could arrive, law enforcement officials say 21-year-old Trevor Payne witnessed 38-year-old Trevor Betzing attack his wife. Payne ran to his vehicle where he kept what the Sheriff’s Office called a, “… shotgun pistol 20 gauge” and shot Betzing onece in the head.

Then Payne fled the scene and hid nearby.

When deputies arrived, they began administering first aid to the wounded man until paramedics arrived to take him to Covenant Hospital in Saginaw with significant injuries.

A quick search of the area revealed Payne hiding in the bushes. He was immediately arrested and was originally placed on $100,000 bond but prosecutors asked it to be increased to $250,000 since it is believed this is nearly a homicide.

He was charged today (July 8th) with 8 felonies which includes attempted murder. Payne has entered a not guilty plea for the shooting, maintaining he acted in defense.

While Payne’s friends and family agree he acted in defense of his co-worker, prosecutors say shooting wasn’t warranted as Betzing was not in the process of attacking his spouse at the time he was shot in the head.

“Information that we’ve received during this investigation: there was no active assault and battery occurring during the time his firearm was discharged,” the prosecutor said.

Jason Gower, Payne’s defense attorney however, said his client was acting in defense of Mrs. Betzing:

“Our investigation indicates that the real victim in this was the alleged victim, the wife who was being choked at the time that this gunshot went off,” Gower said.

“What transpired is an individual took a loaded shotgun, a short hand loaded shotgun, pointed it at another human being that was unarmed and discharged that at a person’s head at a very close range. This case obviously could’ve been and should’ve been a homicide,” WNEM reports the prosecutor said.

Gower went on to say that his client is very scared and regretful over the events that transpired as he didn’t intend on killing anyone.

“His intent, his only intent, was to defend the life of another, not commit a murder,” Gower said.

A hearing to find probable cause has been set of July 17th.


  1. Hiding from police after a self-defense encounter is quite nearly the same thing as saying, “I think I’m guilty.” Do your best to make the correct decision for yourself and the situation and stand tall to answer for it. Hiding immediately casts a significant shade of doubt on your side of the story. And get training so you understand the correct choice to be made.
  2. Self-defense insurance from a quality provider such as US Law Shield helps ensure you don’t become just another statistic on a prosecutor’s resume. Not only do these companies provide finances for legal defense, they are able to secure subject matter experts to make certain proper procedures are followed during the investigation and testify on your behalf.

What lessons stand out to you?

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