Special to The Leader

BATH | After a long day of preliminaries on Monday, jury selection in the trial of Thomas Clayton appeared to be proceeding at a brisk pace Tuesday, with six jurors seated.

Those six, four men and two women, were selected out of the first group of 21 potential jurors questioned by the attorneys in the case.

Questioning began in the afternoon with 114 potentials. Eighty-nine are left to be questioned after dismissal of most of the first group and some late excusals by Steuben County Judge Peter Bradstreet.

The selection process will continue at 9:30 a.m. today in Steuben County Court.

It’s unclear how many jurors are being sought. Traditionally, two or three alternates, along with the primary 12, are selected in case some jurors can’t attend the full trial.

In this case, with the trial expected to last a month or more, court officials or attorneys may be looking for more alternates.

It’s also unclear what kinds of questions potential jurors were asked during Tuesday’s session.

Media representatives were not allowed into the courtroom -- officials said there wasn’t enough space.

Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore, who is prosecuting the case, and attorney Ray Schlather of Ithaca, representing Thomas Clayton, declined to comment on the questioning process.

Clayton is accused of hiring another man to kill his wife - Kelley Stage Clayton - who was murdered Sept. 29, 2015 at her home in Caton. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

Wetmore says Thomas Clayton agreed to pay Michael Beard Sr. to kill Kelley, and provided him with the murder weapon and a vehicle to get to the home.

Clayton is currently free on bail.

Wetmore also prosecuted Beard, who was convicted in November of first-degree murder for hire and two counts of second-degree murder.

According to testimony at Beard’s trial and the theory presented by Wetmore, Kelley Stage Clayton was beaten to death with the handle of a wood-splitting maul after Beard entered her home late at night and attacked her in her bedroom.

Beard then pursued her down the upstairs hallway of her home, down the stairs, and into the kitchen, where he continued to strike her until she was dead.

According to testimony at Beard’s trial, the two Clayton children were present at the time of the killing.

He faces up to life in prison without parole when he is sentenced. Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 30, but could be delayed if the Clayton trial is not yet concluded.

A third man, Mark Blandford, of Elmira, was charged in August 2016 in relation to the killing.

Blandford, currently housed at Steuben County Jail on $100,000 bail, faces two counts of second-degree murder, one count of burglary and one count of conspiracy.

Wetmore told the media previously they don’t believe Blandford ever entered the home the night of Kelley Stage Clayton’s murder.

A trial date for Blandford has not been set.