Lake Wylie man died in his home; wife charged in his death
The York County wife charged Friday with killing her husband by poisoning him with a chemical found in eye drops had shot him with a crossbow in a 2016 incident that was ruled accidental, police records show.
That 2016 shooting of Steven Clayton by his wife, Lana Sue Clayton, is now under review by prosecutors and police.
Steven Clayton told police in 2016 he “did not believe his wife was trying to kill him” when she shot him in the head as he slept.
In May 2017, a year after Lana Clayton shot her husband, detectives ruled the incident an ‘”accident” and “no intent to commit a crime was found.”
Two years later, Steven Clayton was dead from poisoning, officials say. On July 21 when Steven Clayton was found dead, Lana Clayton told deputies her husband had been suffering from vertigo for several days when she found him face down at the foot of the foyer stairs.
Last week, his wife confessed to killing him, police say.
“We are making a comprehensive review of all events in the relationship between the defendant and the victim,” said Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit solicitor. “We will be taking a look at the relationship and the 2016 incident.”
Brackett said Lana Clayton has been arrested for murder but under the law is presumed innocent. She has no criminal record in South Carolina.
Lana Clayton, 52, was arrested Friday after police said she poisoned her husband’s water with the chemical Tetrahydrozoline found in eye drops from July 19 until Steven Clayton’s death July 21 at their upscale South Carolina home on the shores of Lake Wylie.
The chemical also is found in nasal inhalers but can be lethal if swallowed.
A toxicology report done during her husband’s autopsy found the chemical in his body, police said. Lana Clayton later confessed to killing her husband with the poison, arrest warrants state.
Yet on May 30, 2016, Lana Clayton went to the York County Sheriff’s Office to tell deputies that she had shot her husband earlier that morning, an incident report states. Lana Clayton told officers she was downstairs in the couple’s home “trying to load a crossbow” and was having difficulty with it.. She told police she went upstairs and found her husband sleeping.
Lana Clayton told officers when she decided to move to another bedroom, the crossbow “accidentally” went off. The arrow struck Steven Clayton in the back of the head, the report states.
“She said he woke up yelling and bleeding from the wound,” the report states.
After Lana Clayton told police her version of the incident on May 30, 2016, deputies went to the Islands Forks Road home. Steven Clayton told officers “he was fine and the shooting was accidental,” the report states.
Clayton told officers his wife sleepwalks and has problems sleeping, police said in 2016.
At the home in 2016 after police talked to her husband, Lana Clayton was “crying and upset.” She told police her husband was mentally abusive, had “mood swings” and changed in a moment from nice to cruel, but had never “hit her,” the 2016 report states.
Lana Clayton remains jailed without bond on charges of murder and malicious tampering of food.