- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Casper woman who received about $7,000 in donations after saying her son was dying of brain cancer has been charged with felony fraud after investigators discovered the boy was not near death.

Krishelle Layton was arrested Tuesday and formally charged during a court appearance Wednesday.

Layton appeared in court with her attorney, who asked for her bond to be lowered from $5,000 to $2,000 because she was destitute. She has not yet been asked to enter a plea to the charges.

The state Division of Criminal Investigation said in March that it was investigating the family after getting a tip from Casper police.

Layton’s 6-year-old son Dorian, who is nicknamed “Ninja,” gained local attention when he distributed gifts to sick children at Wyoming Medical Center on Christmas Eve. Casper police also named him chief for a day in January.

According to an arrest affidavit, Layton, Dorian and her two other children stayed in the home of former Police Chief Chris Walsh but packed and left “in the middle of the night” after Walsh questioned some of the ways Layton was caring for Dorian.

According to the document, Dorian does have cancer but a doctor who treated him in Texas told investigators his condition has significantly improved since 2009, and he’s not near death.

In one of the largest instances of alleged fraud, investigators say Layton persuaded the Black and Gold Grille to hold an early birthday party for Dorian in February after saying he likely wouldn’t survive until his birthday in April. The affidavit says the party and donations totaled more than $2,500.

Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk said the Layton children have been in the custody of her sister since February.

Layton’s mother, Carolyn Hackworth, declined to talk about the case.



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