Michael Beard Trial Continues, as Several More Witnesses Take the Stand

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Michael Beard, who is facing murder charges in connection to Kelley Clayton’s death that took place on Sept. 29, 2015, was back in court for day four.

Only three of the 13 witnesses called on Friday had previously taken the stand to testify in the Beard trial.

Following the final jury selection on Tuesday afternoon, opening statements were presented.

The first was the Monroe County Medical Examiner, that examiner was brought in to discuss the process by which Kelley Clayton’s autopsy was performed.

The examiner did confirm the cause of Kelley Clayton’s death to be extensive blunt force trauma to the head and face.

Next up, a K-9 unit with the New York State Police. He testified about using a cadaver dog to find the alleged murder weapon along State Rt. 225 near Kneale Rd. in the Pine City/Southport area.

After that, the same blood spatter expert and investigator with the New York State Police from Wednesday was back on the stand. He showed the jury the alleged murder weapon, which is a maul hammer handle. It’s essentially the shaft portion of a sledgehammer with out the actual hammer head attached.

In the afternoon following the lunch break, two business owners in the Elmira area testified to video which cameras on their respective business properties captured. That video evidence shows the red Dodge pick-up truck Beard allegedly drove the day of the murder going to ServPro hours before Kelley Clayton’s death, and then going back to ServPro minutes afterward.

ServPro is where both Thomas Clayton and Michael Beard previously worked together. And according to the prosecution, that’s where Beard and Clayton allegedly swapped vehicles during the early evening hours of Sept. 28, 2015.

The last witness on the stand, a forensic scientist with the NYSP, he testified and confirmed that a yellow fragment with blood on it found next to the body of Kelley Clayton did in fact come from the yellow maul handle which police say was used to kill Kelley Clayton.

Several other witnesses on the stand Friday included multiple investigators with NYSP and members of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, and were questioned about evidence they gathered following the death of Kelley Clayton.

The trial resumes on Monday, special prosecutor and Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore says he plans to call more witnesses to the stand on Monday, including the owner of ServPro.

Wetmore believes a verdict could be reached by the end of next week.

The trial continues on Monday, Oct. 31.

Thomas found his wife, Kelley, dead in the couple’s Caton home during the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2015.

Two other men are also facing charges in connection to Kelley Clayton’s death, including her husband, Thomas. It’s believed that Thomas Clayton allegedly hired Beard to kill his wife, Kelley.

Stay with 18 News on the air and online for the latest in the trial.

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