Stephen Douglas Hoffman

Stephen Douglas Hoffman
Crimes: Child Abuse, Murder

Stephen Douglas Hoffman of Azusa, California must’ve felt like such a big man when he struck Malaikye Payne in the head. Yup, he’s a real man. He trounced Malaikye Payne but good. In fact he struck his opponent in the head 20 or 21 times.

The trouble is, Malaikye Payne wasn’t much of an opponent, considering he was 16 months old at the time. And 21 blows to the head were 21 too many. Malaikye Payne died as a result.

Stephen Douglas the baby killer Hoffman was babysitting Malaikye, his girlfriend’s son, on August 13, 2011. Jazmin Payne had to work an overnight shift at Disneyland and I guess she figured her boyfriend would be able to handle the challenge of caring for her precious little guy at night. After all, Malaikye would likely be sleeping most of the time.

But Stephen Douglas Hoffman, 24, was obviously not up to the challenge. Malaikye probably woke up and didn’t want to go back to sleep. And instead of reading the toddler a bedtime story or giving him warm milk to make him sleepy, Stephen Douglas Hoffman lost it. He exploded in a violent rage.

I cannot find anything documented about previous bouts of child abuse, or why Stephen Douglas Hoffman went postal on the toddler that particular night. If this was his first episode of abuse it couldn’t have been worse.

At around 2:20 a.m. Jazmin Payne received a text message from her boyfriend saying that Malaikye had fallen out of his toddler bed.

No biggie, she must have thought, because a toddler bed is pretty damn close to the floor. In fact, it is only 12 inches off the floor.

The text message was accompanied by a photo showing a bruise on Malaikye’s face. I haven’t seen the photo. I do not know how severe the injury looks. I do not know if the photo gave an indication of how badly the little guy was battered. Considering who took the photo, I’m pretty sure it minimized Malaikye’s injuries as much as possible.

Malaikye PayneWhen Jazmin Payne got home around 6 a.m., she peeked in on her little boy. He was tucked in bed so she kissed him and went to her own bed to sleep.

At 9 a.m. all hell broke loose. A panicky Stephen Douglas Hoffman woke his girlfriend to tell her that Malaikye wouldn’t wake up and was having trouble breathing. Jazmin Payne called 911.

When first responders arrived they found the little boy limp and unconscious. They tried resuscitating him. They rushed him to the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. It wasn’t looking good for Malaikye. Attending doctors considered his injuries as some of the most severe they’d seen on a child.

Aside from the multiple blunt force trauma to Malaikye’s head, his left retina was detached and his right retina was nearly detached.

On August 15, 2011, Malaikye Payne was declared brain dead and was taken off the ventilator. RIP baby boy.

The toddler’s brutal death was investigated by the Azusa Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau. They naturally turned to the mother’s boyfriend for answers. What they got was bullshit.

Stephen Douglas Hoffman at first told investigators that Malaikye had fallen from his toddler bed onto an alligator toy. Riiiight. Did he think they were stupid? Did he actually think that story was in any way believable?

When that story didn’t fly, Stephen Douglas Hoffman came up with a new one. He now told authorities that he and the toddler were “roughhousing” on a regular bed, and in the course of playing Malaikye had hit his head several times falling off the bed. Riiiight.

When that story didn’t fly, Stephen Douglas Hoffman told yet another. This time he said the child had fallen off the bed and hit his head on the wall.

Twenty-one times? He hit his head on the wall 21 times? Because that’s how many injuries Malaikye’s head had sustained.

Seven months after the toddler’s death, Stephen Douglas Hoffman was arrested by Los Angles County sheriff’s detectives and charged with murder. He went to trial in a Pomona courtroom in February 2014.

The murder trial lasted about 3 weeks. The defense’s argument was that the boy had fallen from the bed and landed on his head.

Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba pointed out that a child falling off of a bed would not cause the injuries Malaikye had.

The jury listened to coroner officials describe the extent of the tiny victim’s injuries and the number of blows it must have taken to inflict those injuries — 20 or 21.

The defense argued that the most Stephen Douglas Hoffman was guilty of was involuntary manslaughter because he didn’t get medical attention for the injured child.

Deputy District Attorney Saba argued that Stephen Douglas Hoffman was guilty of murder after he slammed Malaikye’s head repeatedly against something, likely the railing to his toddler bed.

“There was overwhelming evidence he beat this child,” said Deputy District Attorney Saba.

On February 26, 2014, the jury deliberated for 4 1/2 hours before finding Stephen Douglas Hoffman guilty of 2nd-degree murder and assault on a child causing death.

At the sentencing hearing in April 2014, Judge Thomas C. Falls allowed various family members to give statements. A lot of tears were shed.

Kim Payne, the maternal grandmother, spoke of the last time she saw Malaikye alive. The toddler couldn’t sleep the night of August 12, 2011, so his grandma sang to him.

Malaikye Payne was much loved in his much-too-brief life.

Gennifer Hoffman had a turn to speak and she spoke of her convicted son in glowing terms.

“Stephen was a wonderful father to Kyle,” said Gennifer Hoffman. She described her son as kind and loving, and as having a strong bond with the victim even though he wasn’t the father. I’m pretty damn sure the victim’s family disagree.

“He brutally and violently beat my grandson with his hands and he is getting what he deserves,” Kim Payne said.

Judge Thomas C. Falls sentenced Stephen Douglas Hoffman to 25 years to life in prison. Long may the baby killer rot, fester and stew behind bars.

Gennifer Hoffman is still so certain that her boy is innocent that she’s launched a petition for a new trial. She says in it, “Everyone who knows Stephen knows he is a shy, [quiet] young man with a heart of gold; Stephen has the patience of a saint… Not only is he incapable of harming someone he never would.”

Right, except the time he murdered a little boy.

In Gennifer Hoffman’s version of reality, Stephen Douglas Hoffman took his eyes off the boy “for a split second and when he looked back the baby was falling”.

In the petition, Gennifer Hoffman chose to blame everyone but Stephen Douglas Hoffman for his conviction. She accused the grandmother of lying on the stand and jury tampering, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau of misconduct. She accused the Public Defender of being inexperienced.

To Gennifer Hoffman and those few hundred individuals who signed the petition I ask, how does a baby fall once and wind up blind, with 21 severe blows to the head?

And I also ask, why would an “innocent man” NOT get medical attention for a noticeably injured baby? Why would he wait until 9:00 a.m. before alerting the mother? Why didn’t HE call 911?

The jury got the verdict right, and the judge got the sentence right. Too bad Stephen Douglas Hoffman isn’t man enough to admit he battered a tiny toddler to death.

RIP, Malaikye Payne. I extend my sincerest condolences to all who love and miss him. I understand that his organs were donated which resulted in 4 lives saved — the only good to come out of this senseless tragedy.

District Attorney News Release
LA Times article
San Gabriel Valley Tribune article
DiamondBar-Walnut Patch article

Photo courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

11 Responses to Stephen Douglas Hoffman

  1. bulldoggy says:

    The stories on here lately about evil babysitters make me wonder why anyone trusts anyone with their precious children, especially boyfriends. Young men only sign up for babysitting when they expect to get something major out of it, or if they’ve been pressured into it. I don’t know of any guy who cheerfully signs up for the job voluntarily without an ulterior purpose.

    Ladies, do not entrust the care of your children to your boyfriends! And guys, don’t trust your girlfriends with your kids either.

    Poor little kid, rest in peace.

    • BENGALPUSS says:

      Bulldoggy your bang on with that comment my friend, and gennifer hoffman, you are full of bullshit, your son is a baby killing cunt, and he deserves to rot in hell for what he did to that little boy, how evil an act to commit.

    • FlyingLeadChange says:

      Sorry, I’d have to disagree… I babysat all through high school and occasionally still do as I finish my postsecondary education. Aside from the fact that it’s more fun to play video games, legos, or ponies with a five year old than to flip burgers, I have gained (through mentoring) a lot of childcare skills that will be beneficial when raising my own kids someday.

      In cases like this, I have an extremely hard time believing that there were not pretty obvious warning signs about the guy’s personality. People do not just randomly beat an innocent child one day.

      The lesson is to be very careful who you leave your child with, regardless of gender or relationship status; get to know them extremely well and heed any warning signs. I seldom babysit for families that I’ve known for less than 5 years. Leaving your kid with your 3-month boyfriend is ludicrous.

      • chellesbelles says:

        Men do seem to get a bad rap when it comes to babysitting, but I can’t say that it is totally undeserved. I do agree with your statement that parents need to be wary of anyone-male or female-who is going to be left in charge of their precious children.

      • shans4boysak says:

        I know some wonderful young men who would be excellent babysitters. I agree, though, you really need to know the people you leave your children with. I wouldn’t leave a houseplant in the care of someone I’d only known 3 months!

    • LadyPippin says:

      I agree 100%. This is a horrible tragedy. That poor little boy. I have a 3 year old, myself and I worked my booty off to work from home, so I could care for him MYSELF. BUT, you should be able to trust your significant other with these kinds of things. It’s so sad that people can’t.

  2. moodymagic says:

    Another BabyKiller-Cleo this is so heartbreaking. Looks like this beast was taught well on how to NOT take responsibility. Burn in hell Stephen. Hope you enjoy your lockup.

  3. Supermom says:

    Ahhh, this guy is scary looking, f.ugly. May you burn in deepest parts of hell
    Malaikye, I imagine you were a sweet soul. I wish that where you are now there will be no more pain for you

  4. 2cute says:

    This little guy’s death haunts me. I find myself wondering if his killer just pounded and pounded his head 21 times in a row or if he whacked him a few times, left and then came back to whack him some more. The idea that this baby was beaten repeatedly over the space of a few hours sickens me but I can’t get it out of my head that that’s what Hoffman did to him. I pray little Malaikye was rendered unconscious immediately. R.I.P. beautiful boy.

  5. Aletheia says:

    My husband’s grandson is almost exactly the age this little guy was when he died. I hope Hoffman gets the top bunk in his prison cell and falls out of bed.

  6. BeenThere says:

    Hoffman is safely confined at Donavan prison just a stones toss from our department. Praying he’s a inmates bitch..

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