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Thomas Clayton spotlighted on Killing Time in murder-for-hire plot against wife Kelley Clayton

Thomas Clayton and Kelley Clayton photo
Thomas Clayton hired a man to murder his wife, Kelley Clayton. Pic Credit: Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and Family Photo

Thomas Clayton is featured in an episode of Killing Time on Investigation Discovery for his murder-for-hire plot against his wife, Kelley Clayton.

On September 29, 2015, Thomas returned to his home on Ginnan Road in Caton, New York, and found his wife dead inside.

Kelley had been bludgeoned to death, and the only witness was their 7-year-old daughter, Charlie.

Instead of transporting Charlie to an intimidating interrogation room, police took her to the Steuben County child advocacy center for questioning.

Charlie told authorities that a man came into their home and began hitting her mother with a pipe-like object.

As her mother ran down the stairs, trying to get away from the person Charlie called a robber, she told her to run.

Charlie said the intruder beat Kelley until she was motionless on the floor.

At one point, Charlie told detectives that she hugged her mother’s leg as it looked as if she was suffering.

Investigators asked Charlie about the intruders’ appearance, and she said he looked like her dad.

Thomas immediately became a suspect in Kelley’s murder.

An investigation revealed that he hired his former employee, Beard, to kill his wife and set the house on fire so that he could collect insurance money.

However, Beard didn’t get around to setting the home on fire.

Beard told police that Thomas promised him $10,000 if he carried out the offense.

He later changed his story. Beard claimed that Thomas only hired him to burn his house down, not to kill anyone.

Despite his revised version of the story, Beard was charged and convicted of first-degree murder.

Thomas was also convicted of the same charge.

They were both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Killing Time — Poker Faced Killer, airs at 10:00 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.

Angelica N. Sumter is a freelance journalist who has covered true crime for more than 10 years. In addition to Monsters and Critics, her work... read more
Angelica N. Sumter

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