Thomas Clayton's appeal to be heard in Appellate Court
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WENY) – The Steuben County man who was convicted of conspiring with a former employee to have his wife killed will have his appeal heard in court.
Oral arguments for Thomas Clayton's appeal of his February 2017 conviction for first- and second-degree murder will be heard by a panel of judges from the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester on April 10.
The arguments will reportedly be presented by Clayton's appeal attorney Brian Shiffrin and special prosecutor Weeden Wetmore, the Star Gazette reports.
Clayton was convicted of hiring his former employee, Michael Beard, to kill his wife, Kelley Stage Clayton. Kelley was found beat to death on September 29, 2015 in her Caton home.
Beard was also convicted on first- and second-degree murder on November 2016 in connection with the crime. He originally told officials Clayton promised to pay him $10,000 if he killed Kelley, but he later recanted that statement and testified at his own trial that Clayton did hire him, but only to burn down the house for insurance money, not to kill anyone.
After Beard was compromised as a witness, several other witnesses and pieces of evidence presented by Wetmore led to the judge ruling Clayton guilty, sentencing him to life in prison without parole.
Clayton is currently serving his sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. Beard resides in the Auburn Correctional Facility.