Dayton man convicted of killing a mother in front of their child

A jury convicted of a Dayton man of murder Thursday evening in the killing of his child’s mother which took place in front of their 4-year-old son.

Gregory E. Blanton, 34, was found guilty in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

Explore‘Nothing but rage’: Trial starts in case accusing man of killing woman in front of child

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.

Connally was with their 4-year-old son at the time, and the child witnessed the shooting, prosecutors said.

Defense attorney Anthony Van Noy, representing Blanton, 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.

Van Noy told the jury during closing arguments 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.

“No one is saying that he suffered some wound, no one is saying that he suffered some grave injury,” Van Noy said. “What we are saying is in the moments right after that, he lost those seconds.”

In rebuttal, Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor John Amos dismissed the defense, saying that Blanton has a short temper and didn’t like being told no.

He said Blanton wanted to take their son for the day and Connally told him no, prompting the argument and eventual gunfire.

“The level of violence that he rose to, and escalated to, is beyond comprehension for most of us, and it should be,” Amos said. “It shows what kind of man he is, and I use that term ‘man’ loosely.”

He said Blanton wants to use his military service as a shield, but also noted that he was kicked out of the service.

“Last time we checked. Marines don’t shoot unarmed civilians, and they certainly don’t shoot and kill the mother of their own children in front of the child. That is disgraceful, it is despicable, in fact, it is about as close to despicable as I could imagine.” the assistant prosecutor said.

Amos said Connally was killed execution-style and Blanton was coming up with excuses to try to avoid punishment.

A sentencing hearing was set for later this month.

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