- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BATH, N.Y. (AP) - Testimony has begun in the trial of a man charged with killing an upstate New York woman in a murder-for-hire plot with her husband, a former professional hockey player.

Forty-five-year-old Michael Beard, of Elmira, is on trial in Steuben County Court on a second-degree murder charge in the September 2015 slaying of Kelley Clayton. Testimony began Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Thomas Clayton hired Beard to kill his 35-year-old wife in the couple’s house in the rural town of Caton, on the Pennsylvania border near Elmira.

Clayton, who played for an Elmira minor league hockey team, has also been charged with murder. He’ll stand trial separately.

Clayton told police he was playing poker elsewhere and came home to find his wife dead on the floor. Police say she was bludgeoned to death.

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