Beard Trial Continues and Transcript is Read of His Confession to Killing Kelley Clayton

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Witness testimony continued Thursday in the murder trial of Michael Beard – one of the three men charged in the beating death of Kelley Clayton last year.

It was an emotional day in the court room with Kelley’s family and friends in tears and Beard with his head and eyes down for a good portion of the day.

Multiple New York State Police investigators spoke on the stand. The first was a woman who conducts forensic exams on digital technology like computers and cell phones. She was given the task of extracting and analyzing deleted data from Beard’s cell phone.

She recovered over 150 deleted calls and was able to show the jury the context of deleted text messages delivered to and received from Thomas Clayton. The information showed the day and time of their communication.

Suspicious activity was also found of Beard powering his cell phone on and off many times. Once a cell phone is turned off, its GPS location is also turned off. The whereabouts of the phone is unable to be located while it is turned off.

Others on the stand include the man who conducted Beard’s lie detector test and another investigator who Beard cried on his shoulder and said, “I can take you to where the murder weapon is.”

The same investigator then read a transcript of Beard admitting to killing Kelley in detail.

Beard said Thomas informed him on where the house key was hidden and where to find the murder weapon. When he entered the house, Kelley was upstairs. He struck her once and ran downstairs. Kelley was about five to six steps behind him. Beard says he struck her two or three or times until she collapsed. 

Instead of then setting the house and cars on fire as Thomas ordered in order for him to receive insurance money, Beard got cold feet and left the house and got into the car immediately.  He had the murder weapon hanging out of the window so blood would not get in the car and soon enough threw it in the woods. 

He told police he regretted it and only did it because he needed the $10,000 Clayton offered. He added Clayton threatened to have someone kill him if he didn’t do it as well. 

A total of six witnesses spoke. More witnesses will take the stand on Friday when court resumes at 9:30 AM.

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