Former Niagara Univ student charged with murder

Posted at 1:09 PM, Sep 30, 2015

A former Niagara University hockey player is facing murder charges in Steuben County.

The Steuben County Sheriff's Office said they arrested 37-year-old Thomas Clayton Tuesday in connection with the murder of his 35-year-old wife, Kelley, in the Town of Caton.

The sheriff's office reported they received a call 911 call around 12:30 a.m.Tuesday morning from a man saying he entered the home and found the woman dead on the floor with severe trauma to her face. It is unclear whether Clayton was also the 911 caller.

Investigators said they believe Clayton intentionally killed his wife. She suffered blunt force trauma, but her cause of death is unknown at this time.

Clayton was arraigned Tuesday evening on charges of second degree murder. He is being held without bail and is expected back in court Thursday morning.

Deputies say the couple's two children were inside the home at the time of the incident. Child Protective Services is now involved.

Even though Clayton does not appear to be leaving jail anytime soon, the court is still taking measures to keep witnesses safe.

"The court issued order of protections to five people," explained Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, "for witnesses and essentially other victims in this case."

Clayton attended Niagara University from 1997-2002 and was a forward on the men's ice hockey team. He went on to play professional minor league hockey league as an Elmira Jackal.

A crime like this is rare for Caton, which is about seven miles south of Corning. Caton only has a population of about 2,000 people.

Tom Burns, Assoc. VP for PR, Communications and Marketing, released a statement saying, "The Niagara community is deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy. The prayers of the entire university community are with Kelley Clayton and her family."




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