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Texas Dad Gets Life Sentence For Gunning Down Wife, Their Kids In 2021

“I just killed my whole family,” Michael Paton told emergency dispatchers about his wife, Tamara, and their teenagers Kyndel and Evan in February 2021.

By Dorian Geiger
Husbands Who Killed Their Wives

A Texas father accused of fatally shooting his wife and two children before torching his family home has admitted to the triple murder.

Michael Paton, 38, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2021 killings of his wife, Tamara Paton and their teenage children, Kyndel and Evan Paton, Texas police officials announced Friday. Paton had pleaded guilty to capital murder of multiple persons, according to court records obtained by Oxgyen.com.

“Today’s sentencing closes a tragic chapter in our city’s history, and we will therefore offer no further comments about the case at this time,” the Celina Police Department said in a statement on Nov. 11.

Authorities were dispatched to the 3100 block of Hickory Lane in Celina, Texas on Feb. 19, 2021 for reports of a shooting.

Paton had dialed emergency dispatchers, telling them, “I just killed my whole family,” according to case documents cited by the Dallas Morning News. 

A police handout of Michael Paton

He added that he “woke up and they were dead and the gun was in my hand.”

“I did what I did,” Paton also said.

The Texas father also disclosed that his spouse was unresponsive inside a closet at the residence. He stated his children didn’t respond to him either when he called out for them.  

RELATED: California Woman, Boyfriend Charged In 'Sibling Rivalry' Murder Of Her Sister And Newborn Niece

While responding, law enforcement was advised a residence was also ablaze.

Firefighters later pulled three bodies from the site, identified as Tamara, Kyndel and Evan Paton. According to investigators the three all sustained gunshot wounds.

At the time, residents of the small Texas city — located about 40 miles north of Dallas — were shocked by the brazen chain of killings. Neighbors of the family said the Patons weren’t active in the small community of roughly 30,000 people.

 “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," neighbor Latonna Whitt told Texas-Oklahoma CBS/Fox affiliate KXII. "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.”

Paton’s defense lawyer, Paul Johnson, meanwhile, insisted that the 38-year-old “feels horrible” and has “always shown a lot of remorse.” Johnson said his client pleaded guilty — over his advice — in order to forego a trialt hat would have re-traumatized Tamara Paton’s family.

Oxygen.com has reached out to Paton’s lawyer for further comment.

Paton is apparently still incarcerated at a Collin County detention facility, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.