Teen Testifies in Sentencing Phase of His Own Murder Trial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/13/06 - Trinity County

Teen Testifies in Sentencing Phase of His Own Murder Trial

Tommy Middleton Tommy Middleton

by Ramonica R. Jones

An East Texas teenager was sentenced to prison for killing a Polk County woman last April. Tommy Middleton broke down in court while listening to testimony in the sentencing phase of his murder trial.

It only took 45 minutes for jurors to convict Middleton of murder. The Trinity County man killed Dody Peroutka last April as she was leaving the restroom in a Trinity County bar.

After the shooting, Middleton spent two weeks in a psychiatric hospital after being found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Middleton's family believes he should not be held in prison. They were hoping he would be placed in a treatment facility for the mentally unstable.

Less than a month before his 19th birthday, Middleton took the stand in his own defense, asking jurors to consider boot camp as punishment for his crime.

Middleton also told Dody Peroutka's family he was truly sorry for their loss and didn't mean to hurt anyone the day he shot and killed her, even though he unloaded two full clips - 30 rounds each - into his neighbor's yard.

Vicki Smilie, Middleton's aunt, said, "This boy is worth saving. He can be restructured. He can be rehabilitated, but not in TDC (Texas Department of Criminal Justice). He will never make it in TDC."

Middleton broke down in court as his mother told jurors about the remorse her son feels for taking a woman's life.

Nicki Sides said, "I just don't want people to think my son's a murderer, which he's not. If he'd been on his medication; if he'd stayed with me [the shooting would not have happened]. The reason he didn't stay with me - he asked me if he could bring an AK-47 to the house and I said, 'definitely not,' and he said, 'well, I'll go live with Daddy so I can shoot it'."

A psychologist from Conroe told the court his competency and sanity evaluations of Middleton revealed many disorders, including ADHD, post-traumatic stress, and major depression, problems his family believes are being ignored by the judicial system and his own father, who didn't keep up with his son's medications and even promised him an AK-47 if he moved to Trinity.

"My son needs mental help," said Sides. "He needs psychiatrists and therapists, and he needs to be monitored. And he needs to be where he can't be around his father."

Danny Middleton would not talk about his son on camera, but told jurors his son did not have a lot of supervision at home, and said the shooting happened because Tommy "just flipped out" because he was off his medication.

Fifty-year-old Dody Peroutka died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. She was not Middleton's intended target. Middleton unloaded dozens of rounds into his neighbor's home because he was worried the family would hurt a pet alligator he kept in a pond behind their home.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Dez Bryant comes home, throws BBQ party, kick ball game before leaving to camp

    Dez Bryant comes home, throws BBQ party, kick ball game before leaving to camp

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:07:57 GMT

    With just a day's notice, former Lufkin Panther and NFL superstar Dez Bryant arrived at Lufkin's Kit McConnico Park in grand fashion for his announced "Family Fun Day."

    More >>

    With just a day's notice, former Lufkin Panther and NFL superstar Dez Bryant arrived at Lufkin's Kit McConnico Park in grand fashion for his announced "Family Fun Day."

    More >>
  • Restaurant Report - Nacogdoches - 07/20/17

    Restaurant Report - Nacogdoches - 07/20/17

    Thursday, July 20 2017 5:04 PM EDT2017-07-20 21:04:26 GMT

    Long John Silver’s, Church's. China Star, Ken's No. 4, Taqueria El 21, Texas Sports Bar and Grill, Jalapeno Tree, Papa John's, Pizza Hut-South Street, Sinc Drive-In on North Street, Subway-North Street, Newk's, and Nacogdochs Medical Center Cafeteria.

    More >>

    Long John Silver’s, Church's. China Star, Ken's No. 4, Taqueria El 21, Texas Sports Bar and Grill, Jalapeno Tree, Papa John's, Pizza Hut-South Street, Sonic Drive-In on North Street, Subway-North Street, Newk's, and Nacogdochs Medical Center Cafeteria.

    More >>
  • Best Furry Friends: Heeler-spaniel mix loves attention

    Best Furry Friends: Heeler-spaniel mix loves attention

    Thursday, July 20 2017 7:17 PM EDT2017-07-20 23:17:01 GMT

    Temporarily calling the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter a home, Remi is hoping to find something a little more permanent. Caretakers said the one-year-old dog is playful and loves attention. Remi was brought into the shelter as a stray about three weeks ago. "He gets along with the other dogs. He still in his puppy stage so he still has a lot of time to go around play with everyone," said Torion Johnson, animal control officer.  Remi is a heeler-spani...

    More >>

    Temporarily calling the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter a home, Remi is hoping to find something a little more permanent. Caretakers said the one-year-old dog is playful and loves attention. Remi was brought into the shelter as a stray about three weeks ago. "He gets along with the other dogs. He still in his puppy stage so he still has a lot of time to go around play with everyone," said Torion Johnson, animal control officer.  Remi is a heeler-spani...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly