DA: NY woman’s slaying was murder-for-hire plot by husband

CATON, N.Y. (AP) — A prosecutor says an upstate New York woman was slain in a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by her husband, a former professional hockey player.

Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker made the accusation Monday during a bail hearing for 37-year-old Thomas Clayton. He was charged last week with second-degree murder after his 35-year-old wife Kelley was found dead Tuesday in the couple’s home in rural Caton, on the Pennsylvania border just west of Elmira.

Authorities over the weekend announced they had also charged 44-year-old Michael Beard of Elmira with second-degree murder in connection with the slaying. It couldn’t be learned from officials if he has an attorney.

Thomas Clayton’s lawyer, Ray Schlather, said his client is innocent.

Clayton played for Elmira’s minor league hockey team from 2002 to 2006.

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