Former minor league hockey player charged with killing wife

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CATON, N.Y. (AP) A former minor league hockey player pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing his wife inside their upstate New York home.

The Steuben County sheriff's office said deputies and state troopers responded to Thomas Clayton's home in Caton, near the Pennsylvania border, after he called 911 early Tuesday and said he found his wife dead.

Kelley Clayton, 35, was discovered on the floor with severe facial trauma, officials said. The couple's two young children were home. The district attorney's office said the children were being cared for, but no details were released.

Thomas Clayton, 37, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to a charge of second-degree murder. He was being held in the county jail without bail. It couldn't be determined from the district attorney's office if he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

The cause of death hasn't been released. The sheriff's office said Kelley Clayton's body was taken to the Monroe County medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Clayton is a Binghamton native who played at Niagara University, graduating in 2002. He spent parts of four seasons with the Elmira Jackals, a mid-level minor league hockey team, from 2002 to 2006, followed by a season with Quad City.

Kelley Clayton, an Elmira native, met her husband while he was playing for the Jackals, according to a 2014 Elmira Star-Gazette story on six former Jackals players who stayed in the area after retiring from minor league hockey. Thomas Clayton owns and operates a fire and water damage restoration franchise in Elmira, according to the newspaper.