It’s been six weeks since she admitted her role in the dismemberment and death of Shannon Graves but on Tuesday, Katrina Layton was back in court over concerns that she’s been contacting other witnesses in the case.
“I think it would be a real smart idea, Miss Layton, if you do not have any conversations with anyone about this case,” Judge Lou D’Apolito said.
Last month, one of those witnesses called Youngstown police, complaining he received a message from Layton on Facebook showing a thumbs up symbol. The witness told police he thought Layton was suggesting she’d gotten away with murder.
“From the time I’ve gotten out, I haven’t posted anything, I haven’t. I deactivated all my accounts,” Layton said.
Layton’s boyfriend, Arturo Novoa, is charged with killing the victim — his ex-girlfriend. As part of Layton’s plea deal, her own murder charge was dismissed.
The victim’s family members believe Layton has been contacting others.
“She did reach out and maybe it wasn’t a big deal, but she still did something she wasn’t supposed to do,” said Debbie DePaul, Graves’ sister.
“They will not be contacted, directly or indirectly, by any means at all,” Judge D’Apolito said. “I also want there to be an absolute discontinuation of any social media that you have. I don’t want you on social media.”
While the judge admonished Layton to stay away from social media, he also warned others in the community that what they say or write could affect the trial.
“We don’t need it to be either removed to another jurisdiction or overturned because someone has received something through social media,” Judge D’Apolito said.
DePaul said she is trying to be careful with what she posts.
“I have a lot of people asking questions. I really don’t think I went over and above anything normal. I didn’t tell anything that I really know, I’m just trying to keep people updated.”
For now, Layton remains free on bond. Novoa is set for trial in August.