Special to The Leader

BATH | After finishing up with his 65th witness, Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore rested his case Wednesday in the trial of Thomas Clayton.

Clayton is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the September 2015 killing of his wife, Kelley Stage Clayton. Prosecutors say Thomas Clayton hired a former employee, Michael Beard, to kill his wife. Beard was convicted of first-degree murder-for-hire and two counts of second-degree murder in November 2016.

Wednesday morning, Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Swan retook the witness stand as jurors saw a more than 45-minute video from the body camera he was wearing the night of the killing.

Swan was the first law enforcement officer on the scene that night.

The video begins with Swan in his car on the way to the scene. When he arrives, he sees Clayton’s neighbor, Derek Almy, outside, and questions him briefly.

Swan then enters the home and speaks with Thomas Clayton, who is initially not seen on camera because of the angle, but whom Swan testified was on the floor, on his knees and elbows, in a fetal-like position.

After seeing the slain Kelley Clayton, Swan gets on the radio, saying, “Expedite me backup,” and “I’m going to need an investigator for sure.”

Later, after a further examination of the scene, Swan says on the radio, “I’m going to need everything.”

Clayton is heard to tell Swan, “The kids were and and said there was a robber in the house.”

But Swan is clearly already considering Thomas Clayton a possible suspect, asking him to wait by his cruiser and then talking to Almy.

“Did he say anything to you?,” he asks Almy. “No domestics you know of in the past?”

Almy says he wasn’t aware of any problems at the home.

After the arrival of two New York State Troopers on the scene, Swan goes back in the house with Trooper Christopher Welliver to secure the scene and make sure there is no perpetrator still on the scene.

As he walks through, Swan notes the location of blood throughout the house, posits that the struggle began in the master bedroom, and notes the hole in the drywall where forensic analysts believe Kelley struck her hip after falling or being pushed down the stairway.

Swan and Welliver make a sweep of the house while clearly trying to avoid contaminating forensic evidence.

Once more first responders arrive at the scene, Swan goes back into the house with paramedic Michelle Anderson, who is asked to officially determine if Kelley Clayton is deceased.

Upon entering the kitchen area where Kelley is, Anderson is clearly heard to say, “Oh, my God.”

A few minutes later, Swan is using a borrowed phone to call Captain Eric Tyner, who would later take charge of the entire investigation for the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.

Swan borrows a cell phone because his AT&T phone doesn’t receive a signal there, but Verizon phones seem to be working -- possibly because of an internet-based signal extender in the Clayton home.

On the phone with Tyner, though only one side of the conversation can be heard, Swan is clearly talking about whether Clayton should be considered a suspect.

“I don’t know,” Swan says. “He’s clean, there’s no blood on him.”

“He’s upset that she’s dead,” he says later in the same conversation. “He’s fidgety, he can’t even sit down.”

Swan later says to various other officers, “I’m thinking it’s a domestic gone wrong.”

After the video finished playing, Swan answered more questions from Wetmore.

“You’re not an investigator?,” the prosecutor asked.

“No, I’m not,” Swan acknowledged.

“Are you dictating the investigation (at the time of the video),” Wetmore asked.

“No, I’m not,” Swan repeated.

Defense attorney Ray Schlather has used Swan’s early statement that the killing was a “domestic” to argue that there was a rush to judgment against his client.

Wetmore has countered, as he did Wednesday, that Swan was just one officer voicing his opinion.

Under cross examination Swan was asked about that opinion.

“In your mind, you had already decided that he was a suspect in this case,” Schlather said.

“Yes,” Swan replied.

He also acknowledged that Clayton was cooperative with law enforcement throughout that night.

At that point, Wetmore rested the prosecution’s case against Clayton.

After the lunch break, Schlather began his presentation, calling two witnesses.

The first was New York State Police Inv. Jon Lackey.

He acknowledged that he had known Thomas and Kelley Clayton socially before any involvement in this case.

He said he had received a call from Thomas Clayton Sept. 24, 2015 about equipment Clayton said was missing from ServPro.

At that time of the call, Lackey was in Minnesota and Clayton was in Ohio, though Lackey did eventually begin an investigation.

Lackey also testified that he took part in an Oct. 3 search of Michael Beard’s former apartment as well as the apartment he was in the process of moving to.

Schlather asked if any bicycles were seized during the search, and Lackey said he couldn’t recall.

He later said under cross examination by Wetmore that the search that night was focused on clothing belonging to Beard.

Also testifying for the defense was Belinda Wilcox, co-owner of M&M Auto in South Corning.

She testified that she and her business had a close relationship with Thomas Clayton, and that he was considered a “priority” customer.

She said it was not uncommon for Clayton to come into the business and use the phone, as he did at 12:09 p.m. Sept. 29, 2015.

Wilcox was not present at that time.

That call was to Michael Beard.

Wilcox said the metal building structure did interfere with cell service, though she stated under cross examination that cell phones worked just fine outside the building.

She also said under cross examination that the short time, just four minutes, that Clayton was there on Sept. 28 would have been long enough to make an appointment for service, as the defense has said Clayton did that day.

She also acknowledged that when Clayton was released on bail after being charged in the case, she loaned him a vehicle for his use.

At that point, Schlather said he was out of witnesses for the day, saying he couldn’t judge how many to ask to appear since he didn’t know when he would be starting with his case.

Earlier in the day, the jury also heard a rare statement directly from Judge Peter Bradstreet.

He told them that based on conversations with the attorneys, he believed the case would be turned over to them for deliberations sometime next week.

The defense will continue to present its case when the trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. today in Steuben County Court.