In September 2015, a frantic 911 identify from Thomas Clayton led the authorities to his residence throughout the metropolis of Caton, New York. Inside, they found his partner, Kelley, brutally crushed to lack of life. NBC News’ ‘Dateline: The House in the Woods’ focuses on a shocking case of murder-for-hire the place heavy circumstantial proof led to the conviction of the oldsters involved. So, within the occasion you’re occupied with what occurred, we’ve obtained you lined.
How Did Kelley Clayton Die?
Kelley Stage was the youngest of three kids born and raised in Elmira, New York. She graduated highschool in 1998 and was described by relations as a fairly and sassy girl who favored to bounce. After transferring to Las Vegas, Nevada, Kelley labored as a coach and later a cocktail waitress for a while. She then met Thomas Clayton, who was a hockey participant on the time. Thus, Kelley moved once more to her hometown of Elmira to begin out a model new life alongside along with her love. She and Thomas finally had two kids collectively and settled in Caton.
Sometime after midnight on September 29, 2015, Thomas returned from an excellent pal’s dwelling to look out Kelley throughout the kitchen, lifeless and lined in blood. He known as 911 immediately, and the authorities shortly descended on the place. The 35-year-old girl suffered excessive blunt energy trauma throughout the head and face. After the police began an investigation, the proof on the house didn’t line up with a theft. But it was scarcely believable when it bought right here to gentle that Kelley was a sufferer of a murder-for-hire plot.
Who Killed Kelley Clayton?
The investigators noticed there have been no indicators of pressured entry into the house. Since nothing else was missing, it didn’t seem like a legal offense of other. The crime scene confirmed indicators of a wrestle throughout the upstairs mattress room, and Kelley appeared to fall down the steps. The assault culminated throughout the kitchen, the place she was found sprawled. Suspicion fell on Thomas immediately, and the investigation shortly revealed some unsettling developments.
At the time of the incident, Thomas was at an excellent pal’s place for poker evening time. The police realized that he positioned a reputation from his good pal’s partner’s phone merely sooner than 11 pm on September 28, 2015. The identify went to an individual named Michael Beard. This particular person used to work for thought of considered one of Thomas’ companies nonetheless was fired merely weeks prior. Upon further investigation, phone information did place the two of them in contact throughout the days major as a lot because the murder.
The authorities further realized that whereas Kelley and Thomas appeared to have the correct relationship on the ground, it wasn’t the case in fact. He had been unfaithful to Kelley and often complained about her. While Thomas wanted out of the marriage, he didn’t assume divorce was an chance. Then, Luke Tetrault, a colleague, grew to grow to be a crucial piece of the investigation. On September 26, 2015, Luke went to the Claytons’ dwelling to decide on up a four-wheeler for a weekend event. Two days later, Thomas advisable switching vehicles to make unloading the four-wheeler easier.
Surveillance video on September 28, 2015, from ServPro, a spot the place Thomas labored, confirmed him leaving Luke’s truck and taking a corporation car instead. Then, Thomas returned dwelling and headed to his good pal’s place to play poker. Once Michael was beneath custody, he confessed to having killed Kelley with a maul take care of in commerce for $10,000. However, he later recanted his assertion, saying Thomas solely requested him to burn the house down and by no means kill anyone.
Even with Michael’s credibility hurt, the prosecution believed there was enough for Thomas’ conviction. Apart from witness testimony pointing to an unhappy marriage, cellphone information proved important. The information confirmed that Thomas and Michael had been in Elmira on September 21, 2015, when the authorities believed the murder was initially presupposed to happen. Furthermore, there was an indication that Michael left dwelling after getting a reputation from Thomas. Ultimately, circumstantial proof was enough to convict Thomas and Michael, sending them away for all occasions.