Prosecutor: Ex-hockey pro had wife killed in murder for hire

CATON, N.Y. (AP) A prosecutor says an upstate New York woman was slain in a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by her husband, a former professional hockey player.

Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker made the accusation Monday during a bail hearing for 37-year-old Thomas Clayton, who is charged with second-degree murder.

His 35-year-old wife, Kelley, was found dead Sept. 29 in the couple’s home in rural Caton, on the Pennsylvania border.

Authorities over the weekend announced they had also charged 44-year-old Michael Beard of Elmira with second-degree murder. He is an acquaintance of Thomas Clayton’s. It wasn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Thomas Clayton’s lawyer says his client is innocent.

Prosecutors haven’t said how Kelley Clayton died or who actually carried out the slaying.

Clayton played for Elmira’s minor league hockey team.