Former professional hockey player Thomas Clayton received the maximum sentence in Chemung County Court yesterday – life in prison without the possibility of parole – for hiring another man to murder his wife. Before the sentencing, Clayton lashed out, screaming to the court that he had nothing to do with the murder of his wife and that the Chemung County District Attorney deserves to be in a cell next to him for making up evidence and “spreading propaganda.” Clayton’s lawyer says they will appeal the conviction.
A former Elmira Jackals hockey player will be sentenced today in Chemung County Court for the death of his wife. Thomas Clayton’s attorneys tried unsuccessfully last week to get the sentencing delayed because the jury got it wrong, according to his attorney Ray Schlater. Clayton was found guilty earlier this year of hiring another man, Michael Beard, to kill his wife Kelley. The judge rejected the request of defense attorney Ray Schlather to delay sentencing, saying he didn’t see any evidence that testimony during the seven-week trial was based on faulty assumptions. After seven weeks in court, Clayton was found guilty in February of hiring another man, Michael Beard, to kill his wife Kelley. The prosecution wants Clayton to get the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Elmira Corning Regional Airport is ready to start their renovation project. The airport was one of five in the state to receive a $40 million award, which will go towards expanding and redesigning the entire terminal at ELM. The new terminal will feature large glass windows to let natural light in and open garden space inside. It will also include bridges to keep travelers dry during rain and snow storms, as well as a larger baggage claim area. Construction will begin this summer, and they hope to have the project finished by October 2018. The airport will remain open through the renovations.
The First Arena has a new owner, but this will be the final season for the Elmira Jackals. Chemung County officials made the bittersweet announcement Friday that the arena will continue to be in operation under the direction of new owner Brian Barrett, but the Jackals won’t be part of the future. The part owner of Simmons-Rockwell is purchasing the arena from the county for $3.5 million. He plans to renovate the building and continue to hold non-hockey events. The First Arena opened in downtown Elmira in 2000.
A Chemung County man is facing charges after allegedly choking his wife unconscious during a domestic dispute on Saturday. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office is accusing 33-year-old Matthew Stephenson of choking and assaulting his wife in their Pine City home at 7am Saturday. Their child was in the house at the time. Stephenson is now charged with a felony for choking and a misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child.
Elmira firefighters rescued a dog that fell into icy water yesterday. They say the dog got loose from his owners and wandered onto the ice of Brick Pond on Sullivan Street, but the ice broke and he ended up in the water. He kept his head above the water by swimming until Lieutenant Eric Barton of the Elmira Fire Department was able to crawl out on the ice while attached to a life rope. The dog was cold, but did not suffer any injuries. He is back home with his owners.
American Airlines flights left two local airports for the final time yesterday. The Elmira-Corning Regional Airport said it was a shame to lose the carrier, but they still have several other airlines available for travelers. They are also planning a $40 million renovation project starting soon that will expand the terminal, add parking and a restaurant over the next two years. The last American Airlines flight to Philadelphia departed the Greater Binghamton Airport at 5:30pm, leaving Delta as the only airline to utilize BGM. The carrier will begin offering three flights per day to Detroit next month.
The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in the region are asking for the public’s help to find the people responsible for more than a dozen commercial burglaries committed over the past two weeks. Investigators believe the break-ins are related, including the incident at the Dunkin Donuts in Apalachin on Monday. Similar break-ins were reported in Endwell, Horseheads, and other locations across Broome, Chemung, and Tompkins counties. Anyone with information about these burglaries is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 607-687-1010 or New York State Police.