Celina, Texas: On Friday, November 11, the Celina Police Department issued a statement on Facebook announcing that Michael Paton had been sentenced to life for the murder of his family in 2019.
According to the statement, Paton, 38, was arrested and charged with murder on February 19, 2021, after officers and fire crews responded to his residence and recovered the bodies of his wife and two children, later identified as Tamara Paton, Kendle Paton, 14, and Evan Paton, 13.
Friday morning Paton plead guilty to the murder of multiple individuals and was soon thereafter sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Paton plead guilty against legal advice to spare the family the agony of a trial which had been scheduled to begin on Monday, November 14. His attorney, Paul Johnson said his client had "always shown a lot of remorse" and "feels horrible for what happened."
The arrest warrant filed in the case indicates that Paton called 911 and told the dispatcher, "I just killed my whole family."
Paton then told the dispatcher that he and his wife and gotten into an argument and that he then woke up later to find a gun in his hand. "I did what I did," Paton said, "I woke up and they were dead and the gun was in my hand."
KXII spoke with a neighbor, Latonna Whitt who said, "This just didn't happen this day, it led up to this. What I took from it is we need to be more aware of our neighbors, our surroundings and making sure you're taking care of people because we're all going through something and you just never know. Maybe if we were more connected and making more efforts we could have, you know, he could have been more connected to get help or reach out to someone at a struggling time as opposed to being isolated and then a tragedy like this happens."