The family of a Citrus Heights teen who was raped, tortured and murdered in 2010 say they will rest a little easier after her killer was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison.
But Richard Layson, father of the victim, had strong words for Anton Adolf Johnson Jr. during an emotional sentencing hearing before Superior Court Judge Helena R. Gweon. A contingent of more than two dozen family members and friends of the Layson family filled the courtroom Friday.
“It says I’m supposed to forgive you in the Bible. I will never forgive you,” said Layson, as Johnson looked away without speaking.
Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty in September to the rape, torture and murder of Rebecca Layson.
Layson, then 17, went to Van Maren Park in Citrus Heights with friends the night of Feb. 11, 2010. After the friends left and with Layson’s boyfriend incapacitated by alcohol, Johnson forced Layson at knife point to a more secluded area of the park, said Andrew Smith, Sacramento County’s supervising deputy district attorney.
After the rape, he mutilated her body and hid it with bushes and weeds, Smith said.
Smith said he was happy the family had some measure of closure. Johnson faced a maximum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole had he been convicted in a jury trial.
Layson’s family said their daughter was a good girl, a claim backed by the toxicology report which said she had not been drinking.
“She was too young to die,” said her grandmother, Katie Scolet, tearing up as she spoke.
Johnson, wearing orange jail pants and a gray county shirt, stood quietly, his body turned away from Layson’s family as three members spoke before the sentencing.
“She was our princess. She was our angel,” said her mother, Robbin Layson. “I won’t call you a monster anymore. You’re sick. Someone like you should not be on the street – never.”