Granbury resident Thomas Grady Layton – who had been supported financially by his mother, Grada Layton of Plano – on Friday in district court in McKinney was convicted of her shooting death, according to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.
Layton, 48, was sentenced by the jury to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Layton was receiving financial support from his mother and that included his house in Granbury and a vehicle, Willis said.
Witnesses testified that Layton “treated his mother with contempt and thought she should give him even more money,” the D.A. stated. “One witness testified how Thomas talked openly of his resentment toward her.”
Willis said that during the investigation by Plano police, it was learned that Layton admitted the murder to his stepson.
Layton was visiting his 64-year-old mother at her home in Plano on May 26, 2010 when he shot her twice, Willis said. Layton then returned to his Granbury home on Bronco Road in the Western Hills Harbor subdivision.
“Thomas Layton spent time watching television and visiting with his mother,” Willis said in a news release Monday. “After Grada fell asleep in her living room recliner, Thomas came up behind her and shot her in the head and chest, instantly killing her. During the course of the murder, he robbed his mother of her purse, sunglasses and other items. Shortly thereafter, Layton used his mother’s debit card to drain her bank account.”
Because Layton committed murder and robbery he was charged with capital murder, but the prosecution did not seek the death penalty, Willis explained. In such instances, a capital murder guilty verdict brings an automatic sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
Layton was arrested near his home on June 4, 2010, by Hood County Sheriff’s Office deputies after he was named in the Collin County murder warrant.
According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, Layton called 911 on May 29, requesting a welfare check on his mother. Layton then drove to Plano where he called authorities to report his mother dead.
Layton had been accused of participating in an April 21, 2010 delivery of about 104.3 grams of methamphetamine in Plano. Collin County Assistant District Attorney Paul Anfosso said he filed a motion to dismiss that case because of Layton’s life sentence. Layton’s history includes prison stints served for burglary and delivery of marijuana, Willis noted.
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