Laurel, MS - Quincy Lee Clayton - Guilty of Shotgun Murder of Wife - Life

Started by JeffcoCitizen, February 04, 2011, 06:10:26 PM

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He represented himself.  I don't understand why the Judge allowed him to present the defense of self-defense or accidental killing.  I didn't think they could have it both ways...


Jury takes just 10 minutes to convict Clayton

February 4, 2011
LAUREL -- A Jones County man has been found guilty of murder in the shooting death of his wife in June 2009.

Quincy Lee Clayton, 47, received life in prison Thursday for shooting and killing his wife, Alice Louise Wash Clayton, in their home at 186 Brown Drive on June 21, 2009.

It took the jury only 10 minutes to deliver the guilty verdict, which Assistant District Attorney J. Ronald Parrish said was the quickest verdict he's seen in 30 years on the job.

While testifying on his own behalf Wednesday, Clayton admitted to shooting his wife with a 12-gauge pump shotgun during an argument. However, he said his wife was threatening to stab him with a knife she took from the kitchen, and he had already received minor cuts.

Clayton said he was only trying to "bluff" his wife and get his shoes in order to go to church. He claimed Alice Clayton had an "angry look in her eyes" and "didn't look like my wife."

In his closing argument, Parrish said he didn't deny that the victim had a knife in her possession.

"It turns out she needed more than a knife," he said. "He came to a knife fight with a 12-gauge shotgun."

Parrish also questioned the defense, which claimed the shooting was in self-defense and an accident.

"How can it be both," Parrish asked. "She should have given him his shoes, but he had no right to kill her to get a pair of shoes."

Parrish said Clayton could have shot into the air or another direction, instead of shooting his wife in the chest or he could have simply left.

"He said she was a wild and crazy animal," Parrish said. "No one has the right to take another human life. Alice Clayton is dead, but he gets to live regardless of your verdict. She deserves justice too. ... Whatever Alice did, she didn't deserve the death penalty."

Defense attorney Eric Tiebauer relied on the fact that the victim's daughter, Betty Wash, admitted to taking the knife from her mother's hand after the shooting.

Tiebauer said the shooting was the result of a "situation that escalated" between two people that loved each other.

"Don't leave your common sense at the door," he said. "For 19 months he sat in jailed and waited to take the stand. He told the truth the whole time. I don't know if he was mad, confused or excited, or if the death or shooting was the accident.

"What's more misfortunate than killing your wife of 20 years," Tiebauer added. "Alice Clayton is dead. That's a cold hard fact. But, whether his life will continue at Parchman for the rest of his natural life is up to you."

Tiebauer also challenged comments made by Mary Wash, Alice's sister who also lived in the home. He said comments she made on the stand did not match an interview she had with Major Don Scott of the Jones County Sheriff's Department on the day of the shooting.

Tiebauer also noted that Clayton wrestling with Mary Wash over the gun and unloading the weapon proved he was not a "cold blooded murderer."

"If he was a cold blooded murderer, wouldn't he have blown her away too," Tiebauer asked.

Tiebauer also pointed to the fact that Clayton flagged down Jones County Deputy Bryan Buxton and told him that he was "the man they were looking for" instead of running away.

"Your only just verdict is not guilty," he said.

After receiving his life sentence, Clayton was given the opportunity to stand before the court and share his thoughts.

"I feel like I wasn't treated fairly, but I won't hold it against no one," he said. "I hope the family will find it in their hearts to forgive me. The jury don't know me like everyone else do.

"Thank God, I am saved," Clayton added. "I'm glad this can come to an end."

Tiebauer declined comment to the media following the jury's verdict.

Parrish said the quick verdict showed it was "obvious (the jury) saw through the outrageous excuse that this man tried to manufacture for blowing a hole in his wife with a 12-gauge shotgun.

"The people of Jones County spoke loud and clear about it," he said. "It was a struggle through the court, but thank God for juries."

Parrish said the victim's family was "very grateful and very happy" following the trial.

"It's been a long ordeal and we've been trying to get this case to trial for quite some time," he said. "They were very thankful to get it over with."

Parrish said Clayton showed arrogance in standing up in front of the court and addressing the victim's family and the jury.

"The victim's family is supposed to be able to address him," he said, noting the Bible Clayton carried with him throughout the trial. "If he'd been reading that Bible before he pulled the trigger and blew a hole in his wife, maybe we wouldn't have had this trial. I think it's rather dubious of murderers who bring Bibles to court."

Trey Chinn, the victim's nephew who spoke on behalf of the family, said the family hopes to start an Alice Wash Foundation to help assist people suffering from renal disease.

"(Alice) worked for Laurel Dialysis for many years, and found a real love and passion for helping people with renal disease as well as it related to members of her own family after she became a nurse," he said. "She was a hard worker and absolutely loved her family.

"She was a bridge between the generations for her nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers," Chinn added. "She was the life of the family in many perspectives because she was the baby (the youngest) of her siblings. They helped raise and helped take care of her."

Chinn said the verdict is also some closure for the family, which will now begin the process of forgiveness.

"We're a Christ-believing family and understand that forgiveness is essential," he said.

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