A Dallas woman accused of damaging a lawyer’s paintings by Andy Warhol and other artwork could be sentenced to life in prison if she is convicted of the charges.
Lindy Lou Layman, 29, is charged with criminal mischief under a statute that metes out higher sentences when the property damaged is more expensive, Texas Lawyer (sub. req.) reports. Damage to property valued at more than $300,000 is a first-degree felony carrying a potential life sentence.
Layman is accused of destroying $300,000 worth of sculptures and paintings on Dec. 23 while at the home of Houston plaintiffs lawyer Tony Buzbee. Layman’s lawyer, Justin Keiter, told the Houston Chronicle at a court appearance on Tuesday that they “certainly disagree” with Buzbee’s “rendition of the facts.”
Prosecutors said Layman was on a first date with Buzbee when the incident occurred, but Buzbee told Texas Lawyer that Layman came to his home with other people. Buzbee also told Texas Lawyer that he asked Layman to leave because she appeared too intoxicated. He called police when she refused to leave.
An earlier story by the Associated Press says Layman hid after Buzbee asked her to leave and became aggressive when Buzbee found her.
Layman allegedly tore three paintings from a wall, including two by Warhol, and poured red wine on them, according to the AP. She is also accused of throwing two sculptures.
Texas Lawyer spoke with Dallas criminal defense lawyer Chris Mulder about the possible sentence. Though Layman could receive life, Mulder thought it was unlikely.
“I imagine this case will get resolved with probation,” Mulder said. “Jurors aren’t terribly sympathetic with people who have million-dollar art collections.