Police in Steuben County announced they charged 44-year-old Michael Beard with second degree murder less than a week after charging 37-year-old Thomas Clayton, 35-year-old Kelley Clayton’s husband, with the same crime.
Authorities said she was killed last Tuesday inside her home in the town of Caton, on the Pennsylvania border just west of Elmira.
Clayton played hockey at Niagara University before playing for Elmira’s mid-level minor league hockey team from 2002-2006. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.
Family and friends of Kelley Clayton packed the courtroom Monday morning, all dressed in purple shirts that read “Justice for Kelley”. Beard was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation both at the home and at locations in Steuben and Chemung Counties.
Thomas Clayton’s lawyer says his client is innocent. That’s when he found his wife’s body and called 911, Schlather said. Schlather said Beard is a former employee of Clayton’s, was fired, held a grudge against Clayton and was exclusively responsible for Kelley Clayton’s death.