LHS grad arrested for shooting TSU student

From published reports

A 26-year-old Llano High School graduate remains in the Erath County Jail in lieu of $855,000 bond, charged with shooting a Tarleton State University student in Stephenville last week in what authorities are calling a case of mistaken identity.

Shawn Patrick Layton was caught by the Region 6 Special Operations Group at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in the 1100 block of West Hyman in Stephenville during the execution of a search warrant and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 less than a gram and possession of marijuana less than two ounces.

Bond was set at $750,000 on the aggravated assault charge, $50,000 on the controlled substance charge and $5,000 on the marijuana charge.

Nineteen-year-old TSU student Jamie Richards was found by neighbors inside her apartment at the Oak Tree West Apartments in the 2200 block of West Lingleville Road at 1:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, suffering from a gunshot wound to her face.

It is believed she may have been shot at about 9:55 p.m Sunday, Dec. 10, as there had been a report of a gunshot heard at the complex. At the time, witnesses did not know whether the gunshot had come from inside or outside the apartments and law enforcement dispatched to the area searched but did not find anything related to a shooting at that time, according to the Star-Telegram.

Richards was taken by Stephenville Emergency Medical Services to Clark Field and then by helicopter to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where she remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Stephenville Police Det. Kevin Fincher learned during an interview with the apartment complex manager that a tenant had asked to move from the complex following the shooting.

“Investigators interviewed that tenant, who admitted during an interview he believed he was intended target of the shooting, and that he 'was in the business of selling marijuana, and that Shawn Patrick Layton was a disgruntled customer with whom he had conflict with in the past,'” according to the Star-Telegram.

It's unclear if the tenant will face charges in connection with the shooting.

According to a post on the Facebook page “The Flash Today – Erath County,” members of Richards family told page administrators “after being taken to Fort Worth via air ambulance, doctors did surgery to put hardware in (Richards') spine on Tuesday as her spine was severed in the shooting. She is awake and was able to speak to police.

“She doesn't know why, or who shot her. She can move her shoulders and can feel sensation/pain in her arms and legs, but hasn't moved them yet. Her surgeon prayed with the family before the procedure and told them this will be a miracle recovery. We appreciate all the prayers. God heals!” the post reads.

A GoFundMe account (gofundme.com/help-jamie-richards-heal) set up for Richards by her father, Johnie Hoagland, has raised $10,427 of a $25,000 goal to raise money to help with her recovery.

“Anyone who has ever met Jamie knows what a loving sweet soul she is,” Hoagland wrote. “She has a deep rooted faith in God and has shared his grace to others by demonstrating a loving kindness seldom found. She has a strength that developed through adversity and faith that has never waivered.

“We are so proud of Jamie and how she has flourished as student at Tarleton State University. She has excelled in her studies, worked for the University, and experienced the most rewarding parts of student life.”

Dr. Loren Boren, Tarleton State University’s vice president for student affairs, issued a statement: “The university is saddened by this incident, and our thoughts are with Jamie Richards and her family at this distressing time. We wish her a complete and quick recovery."

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