Thomas Clayton Motion for a New Trial Denied
Bath, N.Y. (WENY) -- In a few days Thomas Clayton will be sentenced for his role in orchestrating his wife's death. However on Thursday, the attorney for the convicted murderer made his first motion for a new trial.
Thomas Clayton appeared in a dark green prison jumpsuit, shackled at his hands and feet, as his attorney Ray Schlather argued against the expert testimony of cell phone analyst Sy Ray. Schalther said the jury got it wrong and they want a new trial.
"If ever there was a case that requires the court to intervene, and make this right, it's this case. Thomas Clayton is innocent of this murder," said Schlather.
Clayton hired Michael Beard to kill his wife Kelley in September 2015. In February, a jury convicted Clayton of first and second degree murder. Attorneys for both sides believe Sy Ray's testimony played a key role in the jury's deliberations.
"What Sy Ray ended up doing was, taking available data that had inherent limitations and repackaging it in a away that made it look as if it was more infallible and more persuasive and accurate than in fact it was," said Schlather.
During Clayton's murder trial, Sy Ray analyzed cell phone and GPS data between Michael Beard and Clayton. The defense claims they have an expert that found Ray's data is false. The defense also says they were not given enough time to look over the evidence.
"It took the efforts of Dr. Javonavic, who spent the past couple of months reviewing the underlying data and analyzing it and coming to the very clear conclusion that Sy Ray is making up stuff," said Schlather.
Special Assistant District Attorney Susan Rider-Ulacco says all of the data Ray analyzed was evidence given to the defense. Also told the judge, the defense's argument is not newly discovered evidence and the defense knew of this expert during trial.
"There's nothing new for counsel at the time of trial. As far as presentation at trial, the fact that is may have surprised defense counsel, I think they had time prior to trial to get their expert around. I think they were more so upset because we had the better expert," said Rider-Ulacco.
Judge Peter Bradstreet denied the defense request for a new trial. Bradstreet said he doesn't believe Sy Ray's testimony was false and his credentials were questioned at length during trial.
Thomas Clayton will be sentenced on Monday.