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Jury convicts on lesser charge of reckless homicide

Last updated: June 09. 2014 12:54PM - 970 Views
By - ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com



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After approximately four hours of deliberation, a Logan County Circuit Court jury found Tim Claytor not guilty of murder and manslaughter on Friday by a Logan County jury.


Claytor was found guilty of reckless homicide, however, the least severe of the four charges he faced.


The other three charges were murder, a Class A felony which could have sent Claytor away for life, and first degree and second degree manslaughter.


Claytor was charged by the with murder for shooting and killing 46-year-old Dale Holloway on Aug. 30, 2012.


The conviction of reckless homicide carries a jail term of one to five years in prison. The length of the term will be determined by the jury on Wednesday when the trial goes through its sentencing phase.


Reckless homicide is a Class D felony and is defined by the Kentucky revised Statutes as when a person “with recklessness, causes the death of another person.”


During the trial, Claytor admitted to killing Holloway when he came to his home almost two years ago, but claimed it was in self defense.


Claytor said he never meant to kill Holloway, despite shooting him.


The defendant said that he opened the door to his trailer and shot Holloway after he reached inside with his hand.


“He didn’t stop,” Claytor said. “He was coming in and he wasn’t stopping. I was not going to be put in the hospital and I wasn’t going to be killed.”


During closing arguments on Friday, Claytor’s attorney, Stewart Wheeler, said that it was time for this trial to give closure to the case that had been ongoing for nearly two years.


He also hammered home the fact that the shooting occurred on the day Holloway got out of jail for DUI and that he was over three times the legal limit for driving while drunk when he drove to Claytor’s home looking for his ex-girlfriend, Laura White.


Wheeler also pointed out that Claytor knew he had a video camera recording the whole incident and gave that information to police soon after they arrived at his home.


“I’ve never tried a murder case where the defendant videotaped the murder - and then told the police about it,” Wheeler said.


Wheeler then went on to say that Claytor was “guilty of nothing other than defending himself from somebody who drove to his home for one purpose.”


Commonwealth attorney Gail Guiling argued that Claytor knew exactly what he was doing and was not scared, but tired of having to deal with Holloway, since both men had dated White in the past and she had just broken up with Holloway.


“He was tired of Dale Holloway interfering and the only way to stop Dale was to get rid of Dale,” Guiling said.


Guiling argued that Claytor opened the door and shot Holloway because he knew that Holloway would not open the door himself.


“He knew from experience that Dale was not going to bust in,” she said. “He knew that he had to open that door to get Dale to come in before he could shoot him.”


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