TEXAS CITY — A jury on Thursday ordered a 75-year sentence for a man convicted of murder and aggravated assault in shootings at a bar two years ago.
Paul Anthony Crayton, 44, was apparently suffering from an untreatable mental disorder when he shot James M. Martin Jr., 38, at least 12 times outside Bourbon Street Bar & Grill on May 23, 2011.
Crayton testified he shot Martin in self-defense, although there was no evidence Martin was armed.
Crayton was also convicted of aggravated assault and received a 20-year maximum sentence for shooting at Derek Yell, 48, who’d barricaded himself inside the bar’s bathroom. Yell escaped injury.
Crayton testified in his trial that he was in a “triangle dispute” with Martin and Yell. Both of the victims had served time on drug distribution charges. The argument escalated weeks before the killing.
There was no interaction between the men at the bar before Crayton opened fire, testimony revealed.
A forensic psychiatrist testified on behalf of the defense in the punishment hearing that Crayton suffered from a persecutory mental disorder for the last 10 years but never sought treatment.
Although there was an impression that Crayton was a drug dealer, he was actually a family man until a decade ago, living with his family in Dallas. He thought drug dealers were out to get him and that Martin and Yell were snitching on him to federal authorities, defense attorney Stacey Jones said.
Prosecutor Jennifer Ott told the jury that the psychiatrist testified there was no medication or treatment for Crayton’s disorder and asked the jury for a life sentence on the murder charge and a maximum 20-year sentence on the aggravated assault charge.
A jury of eight men and four women deliberated about 90 minutes in Judge Susan Criss’ 212th Court in Galveston before reaching a sentencing verdict.
Crayton’s sentences will run concurrently. He must serve 30 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.