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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  October 3, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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i'm craig, melvin and i'm natalie mullin, this is dateline. she was home with the kids. her husband out with friends when it happened. >> he said something about his kids telling him there was a. robber >> all they told us was there is an intruder. >> their home, so deep in the woods, now shrouded in a mystery even dipper. >> this is a real whodunnit. >> police said suspects. >> i remember kelly not wanting to be home alone. >> they also had a problem. >> why would this guy go up and kill this woman? >> her family had questions of
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their own. >> something is not right here. something is wrong. >> and then someone remembered a phone call, and a fib. >> i pulled up my phone and i thought, that's strange. >> a killer living two lives. >> everything you thought you knew, was all a lie. >> hello, and welcome to dateline, kelly and tom clean seemingly happy life together, came to an abrupt and, when she was found brutally murdered. investigators set out to uncover the truth, finding stories of betrayal and a witness who may have seen everything. the cleans daughter, charlie. but in this case, not everything was as it seemed. here with the house in the woods, is andrea canning. >> it wasn't exactly sure the house was, or what had happened
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there, but he knew it was bad. >> these winds are not fun to do. >> finally he found it down a secluded driveway, a man on the front lawn waving him in. >> and the. neighbor >> inside the deputy could see signs of his struggle. there's blood on the wall, blood on the steps. >> a broken wall. he searched the house top. >> the kids, room this ones clear. >> i'll check this last room, clear. the trail led to this. to someone in a little room just beyond the stairs. beyond all hope now. >> oh my god. >> the house in the woods was home to tom in kelly clayton and they're too adorable children. he'd been a local star of sorts. a hockey player. and kelly, she was a hometown girl. raised rate here in the finger lakes region of new york state.
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>> when you grow up here, it actually took for me to move away and go to college, before i came back and really appreciated how pretty it is. >> andrea is kelly's best friends. they grew up together near elm irony york. she says it was if the land had a bit of sweetness into kelly. maybe a little tartness too. after all mark twain also lived here. >> how did you see kelly sense of? humor >> she was very goofy, always happy, always trying to have fun. she loved to laugh, she was sarcastic, witty. >> she, always made things fun. >> funny and beautiful. couldn't keep a girl like that and a small town forever. after college, kelly broke some news to her big sister cam. she was very enticed, by some bright lights. out west. >> absolutely. and she's, like i'm moving to vegas. >> what did you think when you heard? that >> i was sad, but i was
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sad. but i was like oh my god go, you're so. brave do it now. >> did you see her? off >> absolutely. i remember she had part that her mom's house, and i just remember running down the street. >> did you having parting words or advice for her? >> i actually have a photo of us hugging. it's such a sad photo to. me it's like the set is day of my life. >> kelly came home to visit often enough. including christmas of 2003. by then, elmira, had a new attraction. a minor league hockey team. >> my mom, my sister and i were at a hockey game. in elmira jackals hockey game. in this player gets checked into the boards, in his helmet comes off. and all three of us were like wow, he's pretty cute. >> kelly's mom, liz. >> we enjoyed watching him. he was fun. he was fun. he really was. >> he was tom clayton he served as the jackals instigator.
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the guy who starts fights. he and kelly lap, dies it was game over. >> she met him that weekend. she met him that weekend. >> she met the bed. boy >> yes she. did >> was instant for them? >> yes, it was. >> they were married about two years later. and a few after that, came the kids. >> a girl and a boy. tom, traded in his hockey skates for work boots to run a home restoration business. now andrea had her best friend back home. plus tom. >> what did you love about him? >> he was very generous. he would shower her with things. we had a mutual friends, who he and his way past away in a car accident, and time immediately called me. and was like, we have to do this. let's do this fund-raiser. and we did. and he was like a brother. >> almost ten years into the marriage, kelly still gushed about her time. >> she was just talking about, he's the greatest guy. i hit the jackpot with him. >> to that make you happy,
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hearing? that >> yes it really did. there's really somebody out there like. that >> greg and linda miller got to know the claytons well over the years. they hosted poker games with tom is a frequent guest. they affectionately called the former skater hockey puck. but there was one thing the millers did not envy about the clean and. 's where they lived. >> because it's out in the middle of nowhere. we could never live all in the woods like that. that's what she said. just being out in the woods is scary enough sometimes. you know what i mean? >> no one remembers kelly feeling uncomfortable, leaving at night. even alone. except for one evening in late september 2015. andrea was chatting on the phone with kelly. she was not her usual happy self. >> she was like all right, some tired. goodnight. all right, we may alone. pretty much. >> why was it a, god that she might want to go to bed early one night? >> i think she was really stressed out. but, she was a night owl. she stayed.
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up her kids stay up late. you know. it wasn't normal. >> neither of course, was what followed. >> sir you need to come down so i can help you, okay. what's your name? >> my name is tom. >> tom klain was on the phone to 9-1-1. something about his wife, she was not breathing. >> how long has she been down? >> i don't. no i don't know. i just got. home >> buckley in home, sucked down a pocket of long dark road, it would never be home again. >> coming up, what had happened to kelly? police discovered disturbing scene inside the family home. >> i said where is your? wife >> and he pointed through the kitchen. area and that's when i walked around, boom, boom, okay. >> when dateline continues. >> when dateline continues >> when dateline continues there can be some not-so-pretty stuff going on, on the inside. it's true, if you have diabetes, you know high blood sugar is the root of the problem. but that excess sugar can cause the blood vessels to be seriously damaged.
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those are the kinds of emergency calls deputy dean swan of the sheriff's office in response to. the one he and his partner got after midnight and september 29th 2015. that was a first >> how long has she been down? >> we received a dispatch from our 9-1-1 center unknown possible medical situation, i responded in, route i felt there was something wrong here just cop intuition, there was
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something more to. it just seem that way >> his instinct proved rates. still he didn't expect what came next inside the home of tom and kelly clean. this is footage from the body camera swan was wearing that nights. he arrived to find a man outside, coming towards him. it was a neighbor. >> hi, how are you doing? >> i'm okay. >> what's going? on >> time just came. i'm the neighbor. time just came got me out of bed. there's, he's right in the house. he's >> i want, in located mr. clayton, he was down on his knees. kind of bobbing up and down. visibly upset. and in the hallway in the dining room. >> anybody else in the house? time just? you >> oh my god the kids are at the neighbor's house. >> i say, where is your? way if >> he pointed to the kitchen. area and that's when i walk around and located the victim on the kitchen floor. >> oh, oh.
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okay. >> it was tom's wife, kelly. right away the deputy knew she had been murdered. what did you see? >> the victim. there was blood, bloods better on the walls. ceiling. victim had blood pooling around her head. >> time,. where were you and all this went down? >> playing poker with my buddies. >> tom said he just came home with the poker game, to find kelly dead on the floor. and is seven year old daughter charlie saying something about a break. and >> i came home and my daughter said there was a robbery in the house and she saw them. >> okay. come on out here. man coming out here. i want you to have a. see you don't need to see that anymore, okay? >> his kids were? home >> his kids were home in this occurred. >> where were they? >> when i got on scene taken into the, neighbor i never saw the. kids >> where did you think about the person capable of doing this to his mother with her children at home? >> this, it was, it's. there's no way to describe a
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person like. that they're not a person. >> the officer lead time to his patrol car. >> okay, come on. >> can i get that? water >> yeah, take it easy but. we'll get you a water. take it easy. come on over, here time. >> i'm just going. two you're not in trouble. i'm just going to have have you have a seat so we can talk to, you all? right take it easy. you're not in trouble. just sit right down. i'm going to leave the door open. just sit right there and relax. >> then, the deputy and his partner were back inside the house to make sure the killer wasn't still hiding inside. >> okay kids room. this one is clear. >> as they searched, guns drawn, it became clear how the crime unfolded. >> there's blood all over up here. >> from what i could see, the attack started in the main bedroom, went out into the hallway. looks like a fight ensued. there are pictures knocked off the wall. there was a landing, the stairs go straight down, and then there's a left turn landing. and there was a big hole in the
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wall, like we're a body part of some kind of gone into the wall and broke the wall. i knew, that just for my experience, training, that okay, this started up here in worked its way down. there >> and she was fighting. >> she was fighting, yes. she was fighting. >> next they searched the basement in the rest of the house. >> i don't see any blood down here at. all nothing. there >> were you able to clear the? how's did you find a? robber did you find an intruder? or any evidence of an intruder? >> we found nobody in the house. >> and no sign of forced. andrea but when they went into the garage, they realized how the killer might have gotten in and out. >> the side door to the garage was open with the inner door open, that goes into a laundry room. that door from the laundry room into the kitchen was also open. >> by then, more officers had arrived. and tom plea, and outside by a police, car was still a mess. >> come on over here and sit
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down. >> i can't. i can't. i'm shaking. >> well that's what i'm saying. sit down. you want to sit down somewhere. >> i keep doing. i keep sitting down and getting. back up >> i say come down, relax, we just need to stick around, we have to talk to you. to try to find out what happened here. >> but to find out what happened, they'd have to go to another house. where one of the counties top lawman was about to perform one of the most difficult interviews of his career. >> it took me, personally, a long time to get to work through in my own mind. it stayed with me quite a while. coming up, a child witness. >> she observed mommy fighting with what she termed as the. robber >> and a chilling suspicion. >> i just remember cory walking up and down the road the whole time. something is not. race something is not. right >> when dateline continues. t >> when dateline continues. continues. et hair? with bounce pet hair & lint guard, your clothes can repel pet hair. look how the shirt on the left attracts pet hair like a magnet! pet hair is no match for bounce. with bounce, you can love your pets, and lint roll less.
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seen. she's gotten a call, kelly had been hurt badly. >> so it's pitch black. and all you see are new york state trooper cars, sheriff, cars scorning police cars. i see ambulance. all these lights. oh, god, where is my? sister i first run to the ambulance, because i think they're going to be working on my sister. i'm like, where is my sister?
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where is? she >> police explain the awful truth, kelly was dead. >> we were screaming, whaling. i mean, i was throwing up on the side of the road. >> you can't believe she's. did i mean it's like inconceivable that she could be dead. >> they win let you see kelly either, right they just kept saying kim you don't want to see. her >> was your first instinct that maybe was some kind of home invasion? maybe some kind of stranger? >> yes it. was >> kelly's best friend got a call from kim's husband cory. >> and my dad drove me. there and by the time i got, there everyone is. there i just remember cory clinching, keep clenching his fists, and walking up and down the road the whole time. something is not. right something is not right. something does not add up. and we were all just so confused. they would not tell us anything. >> nothing, you knew nothing.
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>> nothing. >> can one of you stay with? him that's the. husband >> one comforts, officers told the family that kelly's children were safe at the neighbor's house. they did not mention with the eldest, charlie, had been. through >> she saw everything. and she saw a happen. >> steuben county sheriff, jim mallard, interviewed the seven year old that night. he was astonished by her poison bravery as she gave him the details of what. happened >> her story begins that she was in her room playing on her tablet. and she said she heard mommy yelling run, surely run, repeatedly screaming. it run, surely, run. mommy got to her door and got to the door closed and then she heard more commotion. she opened, went into the hallway, follow the commotion down the hallway to the steps into the kitchen and observed mommy fighting with what she termed as, the robber. she got up in pantomime for me
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of a person standing over another person with an object in their hands, striking that person that was on the ground. and she described the object is a cylinder that the robber, and she kept calling him, used. >> she went on to give the sheriff to detailed description of the so-called robbers, appearance. >> she described the person to me is a male, wearing jeans and it's archer and a mask. and i officially asked her, you keep saying it's a man. how do you know it's a man? and she told me, because of his eyes. and i said well would you know about his eyes that let you know it's a man? and she said his eyes are just like daddies. so that i stood up and i said, how tall was the guy? was he taller the? mayor was a shorter the? me she said he was the same height as daddy. and i said, okay. and then i said how much data? does he, was he heavier the? me was he thinner the? me he was the same as daddy.
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and she says, and the mask he had on is just like dad's mass that he wears hunting. >> after the robbery left, shirley said she rushed to hug her mother and then knew there was one more thing to do, she had to go upstairs and take care of her three-year-old brother. >> to the sheriff, the 70-year-old story was both chilling and heartbreaking. it was a memory i will have with me the rest of my life. it's one of those that takes a little part of you with them. here is a little girl that does remind me very much of my own daughter. and she is working through, i just watched mommy brutally attacked. it could be daddy. where am i? where does his leave? me >> but could it be true? did she really just see her father kill her mother? this had been a very bloody murder. and deputy dean swan ahead looked tom clean over carefully.
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>> to time have any blood on him? >> i did not see it any on him know. nope. i actually checked him for any injuries or any blood on him, and he had nothing. >> tom had told the deputy, he'd only just come in the door to find his wife dead. he'd been gone all night as his friend's house, the millers. playing poker. so that's where investigators went. >> i heard the bang on the door and ringing of the doorbell. and i woke him up. unlike, somebody's banging at the door. what's >> time is? this >> this is like six in the. morning >> that's pretty early to get a knock on the. door >> nothing good happens from answering the doris in the. morning >>. right >> when gregg realized it was the police at his door, his first thought was that his daughters have been in a car accident. >> the investigator told, me no, nothing is wrong with your daughters. did a guy named hockey puck as you know him, or tom, play poker here last night? >> hockey puck is times nickname? >> correct. and i said yes he did.
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he said, well when he went home he found his way of murdered last night. >> wow. >> and instantly it was like, we were looking at each other and it was like we were in a state of shock. and i said, obviously you probably want to come. in >> greg gave the officer the details of the previous night. tom had been in his basement playing poker until around midnight. >> and normally wartime to the game are up? >> usually the games would go at 1:30. but we quit it 12th. and by the time everybody got out of, there was about 12:10. >> it sounded like time was telling investigators the truth about where he had been, at poker night. they later determined the murder happened before the game wrapped up. >> this is a real whodunnit. >> yes, very much. so >> come on over here. time you're not in trouble, okay. i just need to have a seat so we can talk. do you >> so despite with a little girl thought she saw,
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the investigation was far from over. authorities were asking, who on earth would want kelly clayton dead. >> investigators dig into kelly in times, past and their marriage. may not have been as happy as many as thought. >> coming up. >> i remember kelly, not wanting to be home alone, when he was there. >> a suspect who is no surprise to some, and a second suspect to. is >> it doesn't feel like a slam dunk. here >> no, it does. not >> when dateline continues. >> when dateline continues >> when dateline continues t of things. but you never knew what a dog could do for you. and with resolve, you never worry about the mess. love the love, resolve the mess. we're carvana, the company who invented car vending machines and buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand-new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions.
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i'm craig melvin. seven-year-old charlie clayton revealed what she saw the night of her mother's murder. she said, kelly clayton's attacker had the same eyes as her father and the mask resembled one he wore while hunting, but tom clayton had an alibi backed up by friends. so if tom didn't attack kelly, who did? here again is andrea canning with the house in the woods. >> investigators were trying to figure out what had happened in the murder of kelly clayton. they were looking to the family for leads. >> they were like, listen, like, do you know of any one that could possibly, like could've done this? >> kelly's knee sought molly had an idea. >> i kind of like look at my
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mom was like yeah. >> molly only 16 at the time, told police she spent the summer working for her uncle at his restoration, business serve pro. there, she met one of his employ a man named michael beard. tom told her to keep her distance >> he never really wanted me around michael beard. he didn't want me, working with him. >> michael beard was no stranger to the. family >> he actually had done work at my sister's home. my sister would give his daughter charlie's hand me downs, close, toys. my sister would make lunch for him when he was working there at her home. >> while kelly was kind to be heard, she told her sister she didn't always feel comfortable around him. >> i remember kelly not wanting to be home alone if he was there. he was civil, he was nice, but i don't think she wanted to be left home alone. >> molly told investigators that her uncle tom had recently
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stepped -- up and then kelly was murdered, the night of the 28th, 29th. so it wasn't long at all. >> was it possible that beard was angry about losing his job and that kelly's murder was some kind of region revenge? molly went through herself phone and gave her facebook contacts and give investigators beers address. i gave that to them. they were like okay, thank you. >> the steuben county sheriff's office needed all hands on deck and cold in the new york state police for assistance. >> i was contacted by investigators the day of the homicide. >> investigator matt lambert was assigned to run down the michael purely. >> why did you know about michael barrett's background? >> he actually was a pretty role respected employee until september 17th, when tom had fired him. why did tom fire? him >> stealing from jobs and drinking, i think, on the job and yet he fired up on the 17th because there may be some other complaints from employees that
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serve pro. >> so there are some issues? they're >> right. >> but beard was polite and cooperative with investigators knocked on his door. >> we said, hey can you give us you know a ride to the barracks. and he said yeah legislating let my wife. no >> and he already knew it was? about >> we told him that we wanted to talk about the murder of kelly clayton >> -- he said he was home, he's all four of your run. he actually kind of alibi himself at that point saying that he was at the store the night before, and that it was the same clerk working she. she could prove that he was in the night to soar before >> did he express that he knew anything about kelly's murder? >> no he, didn't say anything about the murder. >> is he telling you anything about tom clayton? >> no, just that he had worked for. him >> and pierre denied any hard feelings towards his former boss, said he and tom were still friends. in fact, he told the investigator, it was tom's partner who fired him, not tom. and tom was even trying to help beard find another job >> are
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you getting any bad feeling from? him are you suspicious of him? >> not at all. >> so you are thinking this is something that we're gonna close cross off their list? >> yes, i don't expect to see him. again >> to the investigator and those close to kelly, michael b or didn't seem like a good suspect after. all >> did you think it was possible, that he was a disgruntled employee, he was taking revenge? . >> i didn't. because if you are disgruntled, why wouldn't you kill the person that you're disgruntled against? i mean, i'm angry at you, so i'm gonna go kill your wife. >> but as a matter of procedure, the investigator asked beard for a dna swab and permission to look through his cell phone. >> he was very, very forthcoming. very willing, no problems. just very cooperative >> while the state investigator was checking out the, not so promising michael beard tip, sheriff's investigators had tom down at the station. detective donie lewis said they still had. questions >> for the most part, it looks pretty good for tom. >> correct.
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>> this alibi is pretty. strong >> absolutely. i mean, the witnesses that see him at the poker game, we know where he was all night. >> that's not the end of the story, though. >> that is not the end of the story. >> not the end of the story because there were something investigators crews couldn't get around, the daughter story. her description of the killer, it was powerful evidence they couldn't ignore. and so just hours after the murder. >> the defendant was remanded in steuben county jail without bail. >> they arrested kelly's hadn't been tom clayton and charged with murder. >> how can you arrest him? what are you arresting him based on? >> there is a lot of suspicion. there's a lot of -- and basically we have to probable cause to make. unrest >> what was the possible probable? cause >> the biggest thing, the oldest child had made comments that it look like daddy, it had daddies ice. >> tanner toobin phil covered the story for the nbc affiliate -- >> i don't know how they charged him honestly, i don't
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know how they charge him so. quickly >> he says the arrest had everyone in the newsroom searching their. heads >> thomas had a great alibi. i mean, he was out of poker game 15 minutes away, even avarice after the a rested him, i don't know what grounds they had as far as actual evidence connected to the. death >> if tom was the killer, then there had to be a hole in that rock solid alibi. or maybe the authorities, thinking of the husband always does it, had acted too fast. >> it doesn't feel like a slam dunk here, arresting this man. no, it does not. >> coming up, the mystery of the missing phone call. i >> pulled up my phone and i'm like, see if there's a number there. and there was nothing i'm like, that's strange. >> when dateline continues. when dateline continues all-in-one... and get back to your rhythm. feel the power. beat the symptoms fast.
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or thoughtful. sensitive, or strong. progress isn't either or progress is everything. steuben county sheriff's investigators had made a quick arrest in kelly clayton's murder, harassment, tom. to many, including kelly's best friend andrea, it didn't make sense. >> i loved him. she loved him. he was a part of our family. we were a part of. there's >> the millers were also confused. they knew tom couldn't have kids kelly because he was at their house when she was murdered. >> was this a normal night, just like any other monday? absolutely, just like any other monday, yes.
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>> but now the millers wondered, had they miss something? they started thinking like detectives. >> i'm like, going over everything in my head. and i'm like, what the heck? why? you know who could it be all this stuff. >> then linda miller remembered tom at the poker game, asking a favor. i was doing dishes, and he came into the kitchen and said, hey, can i borrow your phone for a second? i left mine out in the car, i have to call. work i said, oh okay,. sure. i said oh, it's on the charge, just a second. and he followed me into the bedroom and i unplugged it, and i handed it to him. and he said thanks. it seemed like just a couple minutes later he was back in like, thank you. and he put on the table. >> it was an odd at, the time but now the phone call at 11 am pm seemed important. who had time? cult >> i pulled up my phone and i'm like, to see if there's a number there, and there is
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nothing. >> so there should be a number -- i said that's strange, greg can you look at my phone? >> i says, there is nothing. >> this part of you thinking, oh maybe he just needed decided not to make the? call >> no, because i heard the talking, you hear the mumbling, just as savoie's speaking of sorts unintelligible. >> as the miller struggled to make sense of that, they called the other men who'd been at their house that night. the poker players recalled the same details. tom's phone was always with. him >> he had his phone at the poker table? >> that's what's poker players are saying. yes. it was there. yes. >> so he has this one at the poker table, but he's telling you he's left his phone in the car? >> a ha. that's what he told me. >> more than a little suspicious, the millers kept digging. they went online to check
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linda's phones records. and there was, the number tom dialed about an hour before the murder, a number they didn't recognize. investigator johnny lewis took it from there. >> so what i did was i got the number put it into actually facebook on my phone, and as soon as i put that number in the profile that pops up is michael beard. >> michael peered, the ex-employee he'd been so cooperative with investigators. suddenly, he didn't seem so innocent. now police had to reconsider their theory of the crime. maybe it wasn't tom good beaten kelly to death. maybe his daughter's description of the killer was wrong. maybe it was michael b. or she saw. >> this phone call, this is the key, this is it. >> that's the first real connection that we had to put beard anything to do with the murder. that kind of just alerted us right off the bat as we need to go talk to michael beard again. >> he denied any type of
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involvement. he even denied receiving the phone call. the never talked >> that seem ought to? you >> that did seem odd. he denied having any type of conversation. he said he didn't we even remember receiving, it and he would have answered a call that wasn't, that he didn't know the number. >> and when investigators look at beards phone, there was no sign of a call from linda miller cell. >> it had been erased. he explained that away by saying that he, the night before, had to recycle his minutes on his phone. it was a little bit suspicious to me. >> did you start to come down really heard of him? like, we're not buying your story? >> it wasn't hard. it was more like i was trying to say, let's the truth out, because he was having physical stomach was rolling. and i was saying mike, just let the truth come out. let it come out. it wants to come out. let the truth come out. your bodies telling you that you're not telling the truth. just get it out. >> while investigator lambert was speaking with feared, he was interrupted by a colleague
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who had been grilling beards wife. she mentioned a dramatic piece of information, something about a big payment beard was expecting to get from time. $10,000. the investigators confronted beard. >> at that point, he was just defeated. i looked at him and said, 10,000 dollar, is that why you killed kelly? and he looked at me and said, yes. >> this was your big moment? >> that was the win. >> michael beard was arrested for murder. and tom, already in custody, was now accused of orchestrating the crime. but tom's newly hired defense attorney wasn't having. it >> he wants to be reunited with his children. he frankly, is grieving the loss of his wife. >> right investigators had quickly and rested tom, based largely on a child description, which turned out to be wrong. now his attorney said they seized on a confession that was anything but true. who would be believed? >> this is every innocent
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person's nightmare. >> coming up, a secret revealed. tom clayton story starts to unravel. >> he told me that he was sleeping with other women, >> was that enough of a moment for a geordie to convict tom of murder? when dateline continues. dateline continues. you don't know how much pressure you put on your septic system. but rid-x does. in a 21 month study, scientists proved that rid- x reduces up to 20% of waste build up every month. take the pressure off with rid-x. kidney alert for type 2 diabetes! forty percent of people with type 2 diabetes will develop chronic kidney disease, or ckd. did you know ckd can lead to kidney failure and dialysis? kidney alert!
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hiring a hit man to kill his wife. and kelly's family and friends who once love tom like a son and brother, we're trying to process the idea that he might be a killer. >> the betrayal and the confusion. you don't know what to think. the fear, just because some nothing is making sense, and you're trying to make sense of something that's not logical. >> this is been such a betrayal of someone that has been in her alive's for a number of years. >> were you trying to give him the benefit of the doubt it? all >> i want to say there was no looking back, i believe he was involved. >> if kelly sister had any doubt about tom's guilt, it was erased when she saw him in court for the first time. >> i was there, at his bail hearing. he had a bulletproof fest on, shackles, no emotion. he doesn't look. he doesn't cry. and he gets out on 250,000 dollar cash bail.
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>> that's pretty low. >> and he's been however sense. >> and he seemed determined to professes innocence to anyone who would listen. >> he said i'd like to tell you my side of the story. i said i don't want to hear. i don't want to get any more involved. and he's, like partially crying, and he's saying, you know, i wouldn't do that. >> months went by as the state prepared the case to gives each man. michael beard was the first to go to trial. in court, he recanted his confession and changed his account of the murder. but prosecutor we didn't wet more, said evidence put beard at the crime scene. >> his dna was found where she had fled after being struck in the head with the murder weapon. >> it took jurors only seven hours to convict him. >> a jury finds michael beard guilty of what the prosecution is calling a murder for hire scheme. >> if beards case ed bennett slam dunk for investigators, tom cleans would be anything
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but. the prosecutor knew he could not use beard to testify against tom. >> even if he came forward and said i want to testify now, he had lied so many times, he had line in his own trial. >> bearded changed his story so much of his own trial that he once have been a credible witness. >> tom and his lawyer pounced on that. telling reporters that beard acted on his own. >> this is purely mr. beards doing. what we do know is that mr. clayton had nothing to do with the death of his wife. >> and tom's lawyer did not stop at michael beard. he won after the investigators. he said they had tunnel vision when it came to his clients. >> he said, you'll hear it. you'll hear it in the body cam video. >> she's b. she's beat up. >> you've got a suspect? >> the husband? >> the lawyer believed everything that followed in the investigation had been poisoned. >> he was simply being
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wrongfully accused and police rushed to judgment and that therefore led to an incomplete investigation. >> and in fact, investigators never found evidence that tom paid beard for a hit. >> as far as time plea, and there was no conversation overheard. there was no money exchanging hands. you could not even used a confession from michael beard. so there were a lot of things you did not have. >> right, but if you look at tom's cleans conduct. he never mentioned michael beard. everybody says michael beard should be immediate suspect. he never mentioned michael beer to the police. >> as they prepared for trial investigators kept digging, they discovered a flurry of calls and texts and weeks leading up to the crime. >> clay in was contacting beard saying hey we have to meet. he was getting him a bicycle. so it was having these clandestine meetings. >> investigators also pulled surveillance footage from outside tom's business. they believed this with his
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video proof of a conspiracy. that's beard. they say, in a red truck that tom loaned him. just hours before the murder. and that's tom, following, it is green truck. >> we also know that during the time period, beard turned his phone off. turned it on, turned it off. again >> why do you think he did? that >> well, the inference to be drawn from that is they're not that naive. they know there's a possibility of being tracked with their phones. >> then, after the murder. the video shows what looks like beard returning to tom's business, to drop off the truck. there are its headlights and during the law. and investigators believe that's beard getting on the bike tom gave him, peddling away under the cover of darkness. >> the trial for thomas cleat is now set to begin. >> the courtroom was packed, as trump style began. >> i've never been in such a tense, anxious atmosphere. the courtroom was typically tense throughout the entire
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trial. but as far as anxiety was concerned. i have never been in a room that was filled with so much anxiety. >> the only one who did not seem tends to the reporter, was the defendant himself. he saw tom clean and smiling and kidding around with family members. his lawyer though, was on the attack. he told the jury how investigators had immediately labeled tom a killer on the night of the murder. >> i think it's. actor >> and the offense said investigators refused to change their minds, even after it was clear michael beard was the one who b kelly to death. >> the defense said basically alluded to the fact that there was a psychopath case in michael beard. and that he out of hate and revenge against thomas and other bosses went to the house that night, with the intent of stealing and taking money and killed kelly in the process. >> the prosecution said that was nonsense. michael beard had no reason to
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murder kelly unless he was sent there by the defendants, tom clayton. the state called linda miller to testify. she recounted how tom borrowed her phone and then deleted the number he dialed. never dreaming she do her own detective. work >> you really connected the dots. to get the police to this moment. >> she did good. >> if you can call it. good the >> prosecutors said he knew why he wanted his wave dead. he called kelly's niece molly to the stand. >> he just told me a lot of stuff about their relationship. >> molly told the jury about the summer she worked for her uncle time. she said he talked a lot about his marriage. >> that he was in love with her anymore. that kelly was very lazy, and that he told me about him trying to sleep with other women. and that he was sleeping with other women. and he told me that he also is getting close to a divorce.
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just he wanted to be. dunn >> the prosecutor told the jury this was tom's motive. he wanted to get rid of his wife, but keep everything else. >> i think he was concerned that his, wife if they went through a divorce, that she probably would get everything, in this was an opportunity to just stir a new. >> the millers listened and wondered how they could be so wrong about their old friend tom clean. >> we didn't obviously know until the trial of the affairs and stuff. >> you really didn't know tom at all. >> correct. correct. >> that's the scary part. >> after seven weeks, the case went to the jury. kelly's sister and the prosecutor brace themselves. >> now we wait. >> but not for long. it took jurors sucks six hours to make their decision. as they filed back into the courtroom. the reporter noticed a change in time plea. and >> that was really the first time that i saw on his face that you got this sense of
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this guy finally knew that, oh god. i could go to prison for life. depending on what they're about to say. >> and then they said it. guilty, of first degree murder. >> outside the courthouse, there were tears. lots of them. >> thank you. i believe justice was done here today. i do. >> tom clean and michael beard were both sentenced to life in prison. it believed so many in town want to honor kelly, even tom's old hockey team. the l myron jackals, held a tribute for her. and victims of domestic violence. kelly's children drop the ceremonial first putt to start the game. . >> i'm telling, you kelly is with. me and i have a very strong fate. i hear her days saying, get up,
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let's go. we have got to do. this and i do. i have her beautiful babies and my own. you know, you have to keep keep on keep an eye on. >> that's all for the diseased addition of dateline. i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. teline i'm craig melvin thank you for watching dragging me through the night, it haunts me. i didn't know that people were capable of that. he destroyed the rest of my life. >> intelligent, educated, accomplished. >> i am a professor, i am trying to seek a meaningful life. >> she had a prestigious career, a loving husband, a young daughter, but she also had a secret. >> i lived with this nightmare for 18 years. >> and it centered on murder. >> they followed him, they kidnapped him, and then they dumped his


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