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|height = 5'4"; 164
|height = 5'4"; 164
|family = '''[[Taketsuchi Auchi]]''' (ancestor) <br> '''An unnamed wife''' <br> '''An unnamed daughter''' <br> '''[[Gaspen Payne]]''' (younger brother)
|family = '''[[Taketsuchi Auchi]]''' (ancestor) <br> '''An unnamed wife''' <br> '''An unnamed daughter''' <br> '''[[Gaspen Payne]]''' (younger brother)
|affiliates = '''[[Mia Fey]]''' (rival defense attorney; deceased) <br> '''[[Phoenix Wright]]''' (rival defense attorney) <br> '''[[Miles Edgeworth]]''' (fellow prosecutor) <br> '''An unnamed Chief Prosecutor''' (superior) <br> '''[[Judge]]''' (judge presiding over most of his cases) <br> '''[[Judge (younger brother)]]''' (judge presiding over at least one of his cases) <br> '''[[Apollo Justice]]''' (rival defense attorney)
|affiliates = '''[[Mia Fey]]''' (rival defense attorney & the person responcible of his downfall; deceased) <br> '''[[Phoenix Wright]]''' (rival defense attorney) <br> '''[[Miles Edgeworth]]''' (fellow prosecutor) <br> '''An unnamed Chief Prosecutor''' (superior) <br> '''[[Judge]]''' (judge presiding over most of his cases) <br> '''[[Judge (younger brother)]]''' (judge presiding over at least one of his cases) <br> '''[[Apollo Justice]]''' (rival defense attorney)
|vaenglish = [[David Crislip]]{{tt|*|''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'', ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All'', ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations'', & ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney''}}
|vaenglish = [[David Crislip]]{{tt|*|''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'', ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All'', ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations'', & ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney''}}
|vajapanese = [[Kou Hamasaki]]{{tt|*|''Gyakuten Saiban 1'', ''Gyakuten Saiban 2'', ''Gyakuten Saiban 3'', & ''Gyakuten Saiban 4''}}
|vajapanese = [[Kou Hamasaki]]{{tt|*|''Gyakuten Saiban 1'', ''Gyakuten Saiban 2'', ''Gyakuten Saiban 3'', & ''Gyakuten Saiban 4''}}

Revision as of 23:57, January 2, 2017

Winston Payne
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Phoenix Wright
... This person... I haven't got a clue... He seems to know me, but maybe he's mistaking me for someone else...?

Winston Payne is a prosecutor often called the "Rookie Killer" due to his tendency to defeat novice defense attorneys. He is notable for being the first opponent of Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice, as well as the second opponent of Mia Fey.

Law career

According to Payne, he never lost a case during his first seven years as a prosecutor.[1] If true, this means he held a perfect record for longer than both Miles Edgeworth and Franziska von Karma. At some point before the murder of Byrne Faraday, Payne entered into, and won, a competition to name the hot dogs in the courthouse's vending machine.


Main article: Turnabout Memories
Winston Payne
I can't believe a veteran like me has to spend his time baby-sitting a new defense lawyer.
Young Winston Payne

The "Rookie Killer".

When Payne met Mia Fey on her second foray into the courtroom, he thought little of her, telling her that the trial would soon be over. When he brought his star witness, Dahlia Hawthorne, to the stand, he told Fey that he had such faith in his witnesses that he would be willing to die for them.

However, the young defense attorney proved to be far more competent than he had expected. Moreover, his witness turned out to be the real culprit; she had tried to kill the defendant, Phoenix Wright, by poisoning his cold medicine. Although Payne tried to object, Fey taunted the previously overconfident prosecutor, daring him to stay true to his word and swallow Wright's cold medicine to prove her theory wrong. At this, Payne not only lost all of his prior bravado, but also most of his hair from the shock of losing. The "Rookie Killer" would never fully recover.

Loss to another rookie

Main article: The First Turnabout

Three years later, Payne met Wright in another murder trial, this time with the latter as a lawyer fresh out of law school. Like his mentor Fey before him, Wright quickly exposed Payne's witness as the real killer. Payne would later cheekily remark that he taught Wright everything he knew.

Another loss to Wright

Main article: The Lost Turnabout

A year after their last run-in, Payne faced Wright in another murder trial and was eager to defeat his newfound nemesis. Although Wright had lost his memory after being struck with a fire extinguisher by Payne's witness prior to the trial, Wright managed to pull off another victory and expose the witness as the real killer, with the help of his client. Despite regaining his memory soon after the trial ended, Wright still couldn't remember Payne for a while.

Foiled again

Main article: The Stolen Turnabout

A year later, Payne prosecuted for the trial of Luke Atmey, whom Wright had previously implicated as the infamous thief Mask☆DeMasque. Just as the prosecutor was exchanging compliments with Atmey before moving toward an easy win, Wright burst into the courtroom. He claimed that Atmey was not the true Mask☆DeMasque but was, in fact, the killer of Kane Bullard, CEO of KB Security. Wright's accusation succeeded and, by the double jeopardy law, this also snatched a victory from Payne once again.

False victory

Main article: Recipe for Turnabout

Two months later, Payne faced Wright again in court and finally won, with the latter performing unusually badly during the trial. Indeed, it was later revealed that the "Wright" Payne had faced during that trial was an imposter who had posed as the defense attorney in order to deliberately lose the case. The real Phoenix Wright appealed the case and won against the mysterious masked prosecutor Godot.

Murder in the Prosecutor's Building

Main article: Turnabout Visitor

Payne at the crime scene.

Payne was on the 12th Floor Hallway of the Prosecutor's Building when the police were investigating the murder of detective Buddy Faith. Miles Edgeworth, who was helping with the investigation since it had occurred in his own office, spotted the veteran prosecutor observing events behind the crime scene tape, and Payne took this opportunity to tell the younger man that his door was always open if he needed any help. Edgeworth graciously thanked him for the offer, but secretly had absolutely no idea who he was. Later, when detective Dick Gumshoe offhandedly mentioned Payne as not being a particularly impressive man, Edgeworth still had no idea who the detective was talking about, thinking he was instead referring to the janitor.

An assassination attempt at Gourd Lake

Main article: Turnabout Target
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A few weeks after the murder of Buddy Faith, Payne attended the Zheng Fa president Teikun Ō's speech at Gourd Lake, along with the Chief Prosecutor. During the speech, Payne and the Chief Prosecutor carried out a hushed conversation about the "Yatagarasu Incident", which was picked up by a red-clad Mikiko Hayami, who was standing behind them with her dictaphone and pointing at Ō with a laser pointer. Soon after this, however, gunshots were heard. The Chief Prosecutor called Edgeworth to investigate this apparent attempt on the president's life, then left Gourd Lake. Payne was left behind to aid Edgeworth in his investigation. However, Payne did little to aid Edgeworth and mostly spent the investigation standing in a corner.

Edgeworth's investigation eventually led him to the initial conclusion that the attempted assassin had been wearing a red raincoat, much like the individual who had been standing behind Payne during the speech (much to the latter's shock). This person was at first suspected to be the mysterious "ice cream salesman" calling himself "John Doe", but it was soon revealed that it had been Hayami. Despite a few more surprises, Edgeworth managed to clear Hayami and have the true culprit of the case arrested.

Yet another rookie

Main article: Turnabout Trump
Winston Payne
To think, I saw you enter this room a fresh attorney, and now I'll see you leave in chains.
Phoenix Wright
Ah, Winston Payne. Subtle as ever, I see.

Payne in 2026.

Seven years later, Wright became a suspect in another murder trial, and a new attorney, Apollo Justice, represented him. By this time, Payne had grown out his hair to make a new hairstyle for himself. However, Justice, with the guidance of Wright and his mentor Kristoph Gavin, implicated Payne's witness as a potential suspect. Wright then began to suggest that a fourth person, one other than himself, the witness, and the victim, had entered the crime scene and committed the murder. Eventually, Gavin was exposed as this fourth person. As the trial had mostly been a debate between Gavin and Wright, Payne was left wondering whether he had made any impact on the trial at all.


Winston Payne
This... This is insane! What about me!? Don't I get to prosecute anyone!?

Prosecutor Winston Payne.

Payne is generally smug and overconfident, but also easy to rattle, and tends to have trouble articulating his arguments clearly in court. He used to be more confident and arrogant prior to his run-in with Mia Fey, taking every opportunity to taunt her and her inexperience. He also had a full head of hair to complement his arrogant attitude. Despite his losses, he has retained an exaggerated sense of his own importance, claiming to have taught Wright everything he knows and offering advice to Edgeworth, despite the two younger men quite clearly being more competent than himself. However, despite this arrogance, Payne has never been seen resorting to dirty tactics, unlike a number of his fellow prosecutors (including his own brother). He sometimes defends witnesses shown to be somewhat meek and weak-willed in court, such as Dahlia Hawthorne, and will speak against the defense if he feels they are badgering the witness.

Payne appears to view Wright as a nemesis of sort, and desperately wishes to defeat him in court. However, this seems to be mostly one-sided, as Wright didn't recall the "Rookie Killer" at all during Byrde's trial (even after he had recovered from his temporary amnesia), and only recognized him eight years later.[2] Even fellow prosecutors, such as Edgeworth, seem to have a hard time remembering him.

Payne has a high-pitched, screeching voice when he objects and was very proud of his hair, both when he had it styled as a pompadour (crying in distress when it began to fall out) and when he grew out the sides after losing most of it.

Payne has a wife, although the only time he mentioned her was on the topic of love, stating that it was "a mysterious thing" and that "if you were to look at my wife for example, you might all be shocked!" The judge agreed that seeing her had been a "truly, truly shocking" moment. He has also mentioned a daughter.

Payne is implied to be a keen poker player, as evidenced by him mocking Apollo Justice's lack of poker knowledge during the latter's debut trial, and also knowing various facts and trivia about the game.


  • The surname "Auchi" (亜内) is a Japanese romanization of the English word "ouch".
  • Payne's Japanese given name, "Takefumi" (武文), is claimed to have come from the name of one of the staff members' dentist.
  • His full English name "Winston Payne" is a play on "winced in pain", and was likely chosen to match the meaning of his Japanese surname.
  • His French given name "Victor" comes from the word "victory". This is likely meant to be taken ironically.
  • His French surname, "Boulay", comes from the word "boulet", which is used for someone who always does things incorrectly to the point of being a burden.


Other media


Detective McCaw from Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

  • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective features a minor green-suited detective character called McCaw who is partnered with a blue-suited detective only known as "The Blue Detective". McCaw's suit and tie (green suit, red tie) match Winston Payne's own in Turnabout Memories and he wears opaque glasses with rectangular frames, much like Payne does. Meanwhile, the blue detective's suit and tie (blue suit, red tie) match those worn by Phoenix Wright during his time as a lawyer. These similarities are very likely nods to the Ace Attorney series, as Shu Takumi, the main developer of Ghost Trick, is also the main developer of the core games of the Ace Attorney series.


  1. Winston Payne: Take it from me kid. It happens. I didn't lose a case my first seven years as prosecutor, either.
    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Trump (in English). 2008.
  2. Winston Payne: To think, I saw you enter this room a fresh attorney, and now I'll see you leave in chains.
    Phoenix Wright: Ah, Winston Payne. Subtle as ever, I see.
    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Trump (in English). 2008.
  3. (2009). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". UDON. ISBN 1-897376-19-7.
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