A Casper woman sentenced to probation in 2015 for exaggerating her son’s illness to collect money admitted Friday to failing to pay restitution in the case and absconding from probation.
Appearing in Natrona County District Court, Krishelle Layton, 35, acknowledged that she’d failed to make regular and consistent restitution payments as required by her sentence. She also told a judge that she absconded from justice.
Layton has yet to be sentenced in connection with the admissions. Her attorney, Kurt Infanger, said he would need time to collect medical records for Judge Thomas Sullins to consider prior to his sentencing decision.
District Attorney Mike Blonigen did not object to the request for additional time.
Layton spoke quietly with her head bowed when the judge asked her if she had absconded and failed to make payments. To both allegations, she answered in the affirmative.
Although Infanger asked for a personal recognizance bond so his client could seek medical treatment, the judge declined.
“If a defendant (has) absconded once, there is a real risk of that happening again,” Sullins said.
Layton remained in custody without bond on Friday morning.
Blonigen will file a request to set a sentencing hearing within the next month, he said.
Prosecutors filed charges against Layton, 35, in 2014 based on allegations she misrepresented the extent of her son’s sickness for financial gain. She had claimed the boy had a terminal brain tumor.
Layton entered an Alford plea in 2015 to a felony charge of obtaining property under false pretenses, meaning she did not admit guilt but understood prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her. Layton maintained her innocence throughout court proceedings.
In late January, Natrona County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Layton.
Sullins sentenced her in 2015 to one to five years of supervised probation under a first-time offender statute, meaning she would have had the felony conviction wiped from her record had she successfully completed probation.
As a condition of Layton’s sentence, she was required to pay a total of $5,170.38 restitution to five different victims. Publicly available court documents do not indicate how much restitution Layton has so far paid.
Layton’s son, “Ninja” Dorian Layton, made news in 2013 when he delivered Christmas gifts to sick children at a Casper hospital. At the time, Layton told the Star-Tribune the tumor was growing and untreatable.
Layton’s attorney later said her client never told reporters the child’s illness was terminal.
A growth was found in Dorian’s brain after a 2009 fall. He received treatment, and by 2013, the growth had improved considerably. It was gone within a year.
The characterization of the boy’s illness as inoperable prompted an outpouring of support. Casper police named him chief for a day and people raised money for his family. However, a Wyoming group obtained a medical release and learned that Layton had exaggerated her son’s medical condition, according to court documents.