BATH, N.Y. – A New York man has been found guilty of killing the wife of a former professional hockey player in what prosecutors call a murder-for-hire plot.
Michael Beard was convicted of first- and second-degree murder on Friday. The 45-year-old was charged with bludgeoning Kelley Clayton to death in September 2015 in her home in rural Caton, on the Pennsylvania border near Elmira.
Prosecutors say Thomas Clayton hired Beard to kill his 35-year-old wife and set their house on fire. Clayton, who played for an Elmira minor league hockey team, has also been charged with murder. He'll stand trial in January.
Clayton told police he was out playing poker and came home to find his wife dead on the floor.
Beard will be sentenced on Jan. 30.