Solomon David Whitt Seattle man fearing losing his father figure status with housemate’s children murders her after asking him to move out after becoming too close to her children.
A Seattle man strangled his housemate and threw her head-first down a staircase when she told him to move out, prosecutors said.
Solomon David Whitt, 25, attacked Jana Lee Layman, 41, on Jan. 10 at their home in West Seattle after she asked him to stop being affectionate with her 10-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, according to King County charging documents obtained by the Seattle Times.
Layman had earlier asked Whitt to ‘respect boundaries’ pertaining to her young children, only to ignore that request, leading Layman to ask that he leave the residence, prosecutors claim.
‘[Whitt] was so fearful and anxious at the proposition of moving out of the house and losing his perceived relationship with the victim’s children, that he killed the victim and coldly and calculatedly attempted to cover up the murder,’ Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Berliner wrote.
Whitt — who detectives said was also ‘upset and angry’ about Layman’s new boyfriend possibly taking his place as a father figure in the youngsters’ lives — attacked her from behind as she left the home for a medical appointment, authorities said.
After he wrapped his arm around her neck, Whitt and Layman fell to the ground, where a struggle ensued. Whitt then dragged the victim to a set of basement stairs and shoved her down head first, court documents show.
Whitt allegedly removed Layman’s coat, purses and shoes and scattered them around the house before throwing laundry down the stairs to make it appear as if his housemate had fallen.
Layman’s mother then showed up at the home, where Whitt helped the woman look for her daughter before saying she had ‘just stepped out’ before her mother arrived.
But there’s more.
Suspect moves in with housemate after she separates with children’s father:
After Layman’s mother left, Whitt went to a nearby Trader Joe’s for lunch and returned to the residence to call police.
Whitt told responding cops he found Layman at the bottom of the stairs, but a sergeant noticed scratches on his arms and redness on his neck, prosecutors allege.
During questioning, Whitt admitted killing Layman. He’s set to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge Feb. 6.
Layman, a Seattle native, worked as an art teacher at Shorewood Christian School in White Center and taught for the Salvation Army. Her memorial service will be held Saturday in Seattle, according to her obituary.
According to the charges, Layman and Whitt both worked for the Salvation Army’s after-school program but had met years earlier, when Whitt had been a basketball coach to her children. He moved into her house in the West Seattle Junction in December 2018 after Layman had separated from her husband.
Photos of the suspect on his Facebook page describe him working as a tutor with the Salvation Army.
Whitt remained held on $2 million bail as of Tuesday.
A memorial service is planned for noon Saturday at Trinity Church, 7551 35th Ave. S.W for the victim.