Jul. 22—A Dayton man convicted of shooting and killing a woman in front of their 4-year-old son was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years to life in prison.
Gregory E. Blanton, 34, was found guilty in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.
He was accused of shooting 32-year-old Krysten Connally on May 9, 2020, in the driveway of a home in the 3200 block of Hillpoint Lane in Dayton. Prosecutors said that Blanton shot her five times in the head after an argument.
"Ms. Connally suffered catastrophic injuries from the five gunshots that entered her head," Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor John Amos said in a sentencing memorandum filed ahead of Wednesday's hearing. "She never stood a chance from the ambush execution from the defendant."
Connally was with their 4-year-old son at the time, and the child witnessed the shooting, prosecutors said.
Blanton was convicted earlier this month after a jury trial. His defense asked the jury to find him not guilty, saying that his client suffered from PTSD and other mental disorders that caused him to black out in the moments he pulled the trigger.
The defense told the jury that Blanton has intermittent explosive disorder and, while in the military, Blanton developed training to react to certain types of threats. He said that Blanton was struck during the argument and his instincts kicked in.
Prosecutors countered that argument by calling Blanton's actions despicable and saying that Blanton was looking for excuses to avoid punishment. They said that Blanton shot Connally even after she fell to the ground.
During the sentencing, Connally's father spoke to both Montgomery County Judge Mary Wiseman and Blanton. He told the court that his daughter lives on in his grandson. He held up an urn and a photo of his daughter.
"This is what you took," he told Blanton.
Blanton also spoke during the hearing and apologized.
"It's a bad situation," he said. "Our son, he lost his mom and is losing his dad. I truly apologize."