Ex-pro hockey player gets life in prison in wife's murder

BATH, N.Y. (AP) — A former professional hockey player convicted in the slaying of his wife in their upstate New York home has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

A Steuben County Court judge on Monday sentenced Thomas Clayton, 39, to the maximum penalty in connection with the killing of his 35-year-old wife, Kelley.

A jury convicted Clayton on first- and second-degree murder charges in February. He hired a former employee, Michael Beard, to kill Kelley Clayton inside the couple's home in the rural town of Caton in late September 2015.

Beard, 46, was convicted of the same charges last November and sentenced to a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

Clayton was a star at Niagara University before going on to play professionally for the Elmira Jackals, a minor league team.

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