Deny Thomas Claytons Appeal of His Conviction of First- and Second-Degree Murder
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On September 29th, 2015, police responded to a 911 call to a home on Ginnan Road in the small town of Caton, (Upstate) NY. Upon arrival, officers found 35-year-old Kelley Stage brutally bludgeoned to death inside the home. Later that day, Kelley’s husband of nine years, Thomas Clayton, was arrested in connection to his wife’s murder.
Kelley was a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and above all, a mother to two young children, Charlie and Cullen— all of whom have been left to suffer since the day she was ripped away from them by the monster that is Thomas Clayton.
On January 9, 2017, more than 15 months after her death, the trial for the murder of Kelley Stage began. Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore presented the case. Throughout the nearly seven week trial, Wetmore presented ample circumstantial evidence to prove that Thomas Clayton hired a former employee of his, Michael Beard, to kill his wife Kelley in exchange for $10,000.
On February 23rd, 2017, a Steuben County Court jury found Thomas Clayton guilty of first- and second-degree murder charges in connection to the death of his wife, Kelley. On April 14, 2017, Thomas Clayton was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On October 18, 2018, Thomas Clayton’s attorney, Brian Shiffrin of Rochester, filed a two-page notice of appeal with the Steuben County Clerks office. The paperwork for Clayton’s appeal will be forwarded Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Fourth Department in Rochester, NY.
Though there is nothing that will ever bring back the beautiful person that Kelley Stage was, all those who love her so dearly were given a small bit of peace and closure when justice was served for her— that is, the day that Thomas Clayton was convicted of his heinous actions and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Kelley’s chance to continue living a life full of love and happiness, to watch and lead her amazing children as they grow— her chance at life at all was ripped away from her, against her will, the very moment Thomas Clayton conspired his plan to have her murdered. Thomas Claytons cowardly act left no second chance at life for Kelley... and because of that, Thomas Clayton himself doesn’t at all deserve a second chance to live a life as such outside of prison walls.
Please take the time to sign this petition— for Kelley, for continued Justice for Kelley, and for all victims of domestic violence alike, who’ve been denied the choice and chance to fight for themselves.
Together, let’s fight to deny Thomas Clayton’s appeal of conviction for first- and second-degree murder in the death of Kelley Stage. � #Justice4Kelley #StageStrong
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