Mental exam for man in fatal crash

May 11, 2009 6:27:03 PM PDT
A Johnston County man who killed a woman in her brother in grinding crash in Garner had hoped to walk out of jail Monday after serving 16 months. Instead a judge sent him to Dorthea Dix hospital for a mental evaluation. Victoriano Layon, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in a Wake County courtroom. He was going to be given credit for time served and released. But after the judge read the details of the crash investigation, he said he wanted to make sure Layon was not a danger to the community or himself.

It was on January 10, 2008 that Layon drove his Ford F150 pickup into a line of cars stopped at Highway 70 and Jones Sausage Road.

Wanda Altman of Clayton and her brother Daris Hancock of Johnston County were both killed in the wreck. They were in a Ford Taurus which was pushed into a Volkswagen Beetle. A woman in the Volkswagen was also hurt, as were Layon's wife and two sons who were in the truck with him.

"It's probably the worst impact, as far as a car, that I've ever seen," said Phillip Moseley who witnessed the crash and spoke with Eyewitness News soon afterward. "It looked like an accordion, the way the front end and the back end were smashed together."

At the time of the crash, detectives said Layon did not know the people in the cars he hit, and did not speculate on a motive. He was originally charged with two counts of second degree murder.

In court Monday, the prosecutor told the judge that the day before the wreck that Layon’s wife said he acted strangely. She said he stayed home reading the bible – specifically the book of Revelations.

His wife says he confessed his sins to her then picked up the family’s cat, took it outside and slammed it to the ground. He said the cat had Satan in it.

At the wreck scene Layon told an off duty Garner Police officer that he “rebuked him in the name of God” according to the prosecutor. He then fled the scene. The prosecutor also said that when Layon was captured the next day he told investigators, “The Father told him to do – that it would be alright.”

The judge, Ron Stephens, said he was fine with the plea agreement and the punishment, but that he wanted more than just the mental evaluation performed on Layon by the doctor hired by Layon’s defense attorney. So the case was put off until the judge gets what he called an “expedited” mental evaluation of Layon.


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