Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family settles suit against estate of Pasco man obsessed with Montana prodigy

A settlement was reached Thursday between the family of a Montana mathematics prodigy and the estate of an obsessed, murderous New Port Richey man.

Jason Armstrong, a Montana attorney representing Promethea Pythaitha and her mother, Georgia Smith, told the Times the settlement was reached, but declined to immediately discuss details of the federal lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court.

The strange tale began in November 2010, when 81-year-old Thomas Kyros left his New Port Richey home and drove 2,430 miles to Bozeman, Mont., to be near Pythaitha, who was then 19. A neighbor said it was the first time Kyros left his home since 1986. Pythaitha was a Greek-American child genius who graduated from Montana State University at 14 with a degree in mathematics. Kyros, also Greek, heard about her years earlier and began sending her financial support. He called Pythaitha his "favorite grandchild" and claimed to have sent her $17,000 for her studies. He asked her to call him "pappoulis," which means little grandfather in Greek.

But as his obsession grew, Pythaitha and her mother, Georgia Smith, withdrew and refused to communicate with him or accept his gifts.

He blamed Smith. Kyros believed Pythaitha was being held prisoner by her mother and that her chances of future success were being ruined.

Kyros had his lawyer draft a will. In it, Kyros gave Pythaitha two-thirds of his estate but wrote, in bold letters, she would receive no money "while her mother, Georgia A. Smith, is living."

In Montana, Kyros bought a gun and, on Jan. 17, 2011, he drove his car into the fence surrounding Pythaitha and Smith's home on Outlaw Hill Road outside Livingston, a remote area of Montana. When the two women came outside, authorities said, Kyros shot Smith five times, calling her a whore and a beast. Pythaitha, according to court documents, begged Kyros to stop. She "threw herself over her mother's body to stop the onslaught of gunfire," the lawsuit says. Kyros stopped shooting and told Pythaitha "she should be happy the beast is dead."

Smith survived.

Kyros was killed by police.

Kyros' attorney who drafted the will, David Gilmore, was originally named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Armstrong claimed Gilmore should have known his client was going to harm Smith and should have contacted law enforcement.

"Defendant Gilmore, who has alleged that Mr. Kyros was insane at the time of his actions, had in his possession information regarding Mr. Kyros's animosity towards Ms. Smith and Mr. Kyros's many ruminations about her death," the lawsuit stated.

The suit alleged that Kyros sent a fax to Gilmore more than a month before the attempted murder and told him that all information about Pythaitha was null and void "for as long as Georgia is alive."

But a Montana judge ruled in April that Gilmore, a New Port Richey attorney, could not have known Smith would be harmed, and his name was dropped from the lawsuit.

The judge ordered the two sides to go into settlement talks. Kyros' estate was estimated to be $600,000 or less, court documents state, and dwindling fast from attorney fees.

From the shooting, Smith is paralyzed in her left arm, the lawsuit said, and will require "a lifetime of care" and further surgery to repair the wounds Kyros caused. Pythaitha and Smith, the suit states, continue to suffer severe emotional and psychological distress.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229.

Family settles suit against estate of Pasco man obsessed with Montana prodigy 01/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows

    Health

    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  2. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]
  3. Tarpon Springs psychic charged with defrauding veteran, widow out of $155,000

    News

    TARPON SPRINGS — A psychic was arrested Tuesday after police said she scammed two clients out of more than $150,000.

    Gina Wilson
  4. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.

  5. Hernando sheriff: Middle school staffer accused of sexually assaulting student

    Crime

    SPRING HILL — A staffer and coach at Fox Chapel Middle School was arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually assaulting a student on the school's campus.

    Marcus Wells, 34, an in-school suspension monitor at Fox Chapel Middle School, was arrested Tuesday on allegations that he sexually battered a student, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. He was fired by the school district. [Photo courtesy of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office]