48 Hours on ID is examing the murder of Steven “Steve” Clayton, who was killed by his wife, Lana Clayton, in their home in Clover, South Carolina, in 2018.
In July 2018, 64-year-old Steve Clayton was found lying at the bottom of the stairs. The cops first assumed he’d died from a tragic fall, but an autopsy revealed a far more sinister death. He had been poisoned.
The coroner found a drug used for eye drops known as Visine in Steven’s body. The drug works by constricting blood vessels and is fatal if wrongly administered. The drug is odorless and colorless, meaning Steven would have been completely unaware he was consuming it.
His wife, Lana Clayton, eventually admitted to the cops that she had put Visine in her husband’s water and coffee. She had been administering it to Steve for three days. But she argued that she was trying to help him with his bowel movements.
Clayton later changed her story and claimed that he had abused her. She said she hadn’t wanted Steven to die but did want him to suffer.
She said she had tried to commit suicide after the murder by taking sleeping pills and turning on the gas at the stove. She had even written a suicide note.
Lana Clayton suffered from PTSD
Clayton’s defense lawyers argued for leniency and pointed to how she had been sexually abused by an uncle in her childhood and been raped in later life. They said that she had post-traumatic stress disorder.
But the prosecution argued that Clayton had killed her husband in cold blood because she wanted to inherit his money. Steve Clayton had been a successful businessman.
Clayton was initially charged with murder, but she made a deal with the prosecution to enter an Alford plea, which led to a conviction for manslaughter and tampering with a food or drug. She was sentenced to spend 25 years behind bars.
More from 48 Hours on ID
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48 Hours on ID airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.