To the outside world, Thomas and Kelley Clayton had a strong marriage and a healthy relationship. But jurors in Michael Beard's murder trial have learned that wasn't the case.
On Monday, three people testified they had sexual relationships with Thomas Clayton while he was married. One was a minor, only 15 at the time of the alleged affair. All three testified that Thomas often complained about Kelley, saying she was 'lazy' and that he planned to leave her. Thomas told one of the women that he couldn't get a divorce because Kelley would "take everything."
The affairs took place in 2014 and 2015, and Kelley was found dead in her home on September 29, 2015. One woman testified that she continued to have a sexual relationship with Thomas after Kelley's death.
The testimonies served as a possible motive for why Thomas Clayton may have hired Michael Beard to kill his wife. Beard is facing first- and second-degree murder charges after telling police in 2015 that Thomas hired him to kill Kelley.
Monday, jurors also heard from a former colleague and friend of Thomas Clayton's. He testified that he found a bag of clothes, a bag of money, and a passport in Clayton's truck the day after the murder. Another former colleague testified that Clayton often hired Beard to do side work, and that he kept Beard indebted to him, loaning him money and a car.
The trial will continue Tuesday with testimony from forensics and DNA analysts, expected to explain the significance of blood swabs taken from the Clayton home.
Thomas Clayton is also charged with first- and second-degree murder. His trial will take place in January.