Thomas Clayton: Current Location, Obituary Details

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The gruesome murder mystery surrounding former hockey star Thomas Clayton was the focus of Dateline’s Season 25 episode 25, “The Woods House.”

In September 2015, a 35-year-old woman named Kelley Clayton was found dead on the kitchen floor of her own home in Caton, New York. It was eventually discovered that Thomas Clayton, her husband, had paid someone else to kill his wife. Thomas called 911 later that evening to report Kelley’s murder.

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A key witness in the case was Clayton’s eldest daughter.

Thomas Clayton

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Thomas Clayton

Current location of Thomas Clayton

Thomas Clayton is currently serving a life sentence at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. After a lengthy trial that lasted many weeks, he was found guilty of hiring another man to kill his wife and was also found guilty of first and second degree murder.

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Clayton, a former hockey player and native of Binghamton, played the game for four seasons between 1998 and 2002. In 2002 he ended his ice hockey career and shortly thereafter founded his own company.

Clayton was reportedly known for his involvement in gambling and numerous extramarital affairs.

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The night of Kelley Clayton’s murder

The murder of Kelley Clayton was very spectacular.

At 12:30 a.m., Thomas Clayton, who had paid another guy to kill Kelley, called 911 to report her death. He was charged with second-degree murder as soon as police arrived at the scene and suspicions immediately developed against him.

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Eventually, detectives discovered that it was not just a murder, but a conspiracy involving another person, Michael Beard. Beard reportedly accepted Clayton’s $10,000 promise to have Kelley killed.

When Beard later modified his story, things became more interesting and challenging for the cops. According to Beard, Clayton only wanted him to burn down his house when “no one was around” so he could get his insurance money.

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Beard added that Kelley was dead when he entered her home on the night of the murder. Beard stated that he fled the area after witnessing the body, further complicating the case against Clayton.

Additionally, there was ample evidence that Clayton wasn’t as innocent as he was trying to portray. Beard and Clayton were in frequent contact in the weeks leading up to the murder, according to cellphone data provided to prosecutors in evidence.

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Beard’s trial took place in November 2016 and he lost. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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The daughter witnessed the murder of her mother

The worst experience of the entire episode was undoubtedly Clayton’s eldest daughter. She saw Kelley get hit by a pipe and die right in front of her.

She explained during one of the police interviews,

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“A man came and hit my mother with a pipe-like object. She was on the ground and I assumed she was dead.
The 7-year-old said: “I thought the man hitting my mum was my dad because his eyes looked like Clayton’s.”

She explained in a letter to the court, “I feel my father has been a coward since he asked Michael Beard to kill my mother.”

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One of the key pieces of evidence against Clayton’s conviction was the daughter’s testimony.

The children do not currently communicate with their father.

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Thomas Clayton relationship details

Investigators believe Thomas Clayton’s lack of affection for his wife may have been the driving force behind the murder. He was concerned that Kelley would inherit his entire fortune if they divorced.

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Other women who testified against Clayton claimed he had sex with them during his time in hockey. The women admitted that Thomas Clayton often complained that his wife was “lazy and ungrateful.”

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Thomas Clayton may have used poker as an alibi the night of the murder

At the time of his wife’s murder, Clayton was reportedly having a game of poker going on. Another woman later approached and revealed that Clayton asked to make a call on her phone about 90 minutes before he arrived at his home.

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