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Kidnapping charge dismissed against Gainesville man; plea deal on others
Russell Olin Layton

A Gainesville man was given time on house arrest and probation after prosecutors dismissed a kidnapping charge and negotiated a plea on other charges, according to court documents.

Russell Olin Layton, 54, was given a 12-year sentence with the first two years in confinement, according to court documents.

There were two indictments filed in October 2018 in Hall County Superior Court. The first alleged kidnapping, false imprisonment and battery involving a woman in August 2016.

The second indictment had charges including aggravated stalking, influencing a witness, terroristic threats and terroristic acts involving the same woman months later.

According to the influencing a witness charge, Layton was accused of “threatening to cut the witness up in pieces and place her on the front porch of the defendant’s attorney if she did not recant and meet the defendant’s attorney.”

In a negotiated plea filed March 25 under the First Offender Act, the kidnapping and false imprisonment charges were dismissed, and Layton was given 12 months on probation for the misdemeanor battery.

Layton was given 12 years with the first two years in confinement after a negotiated plea under the First Offender Act on the second indictment, and the sentences are running concurrently.

Under the terms of probation, Layton must not have any contact with the woman or her family and will be subject to random alcohol and drug screens.

With the First Offender Act, Layton will have the case discharged without the “court adjudication of guilt and shall be completely exonerated of guilt” if he fulfills the terms of his sentence.

Defense attorney L. David Wolfe, Layton’s attorney, said they “were glad we were able to resolve the case, and we want everybody to get on with their lives.” 

According to the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden, the custodial portion of his sentence shall be on house arrest with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and that he must attend “mental health/substance abuse treatment/screens while on house arrest.”

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