UPDATE: Harrison man accused of plotting to kill father appears in court
Thomas Claxton (right) walks toward the bench, followed by his father Thomas "Toby" Claxton Wednesday morning. WRCBtv.com photo
Victim Justin Allen talks only to Channel 3
HARRISON, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: Thomas Claxton waived his right to a preliminary hearing in court Wednesday morning.
His father stood by his side after the judge lifted the no contact order in December. Claxton was charged trying to hire a person to kill his father, the very man standing beside him Wednesday.
Claxton is out on bond.
PREVIOUS STORY: A 20-year-old Harrison man is in jail and charged with plotting to have his father murdered.
Thomas "Toby" Bedford Claxton, 20, is charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder after authorities say he confessed to the plot to have his 68-year-old father killed.
According to court documents, Claxton lives in the basement of his father's home on Waconda Point Road in Harrison. He told detectives he wanted his father and namesake, Thomas, killed because "he had planned to force him out of the house in January if he didn't obtain a job and start college." The 20-year-old also said he was an heir and would benefit financially from his father's death, according to the arrest affidavit.
Claxton told police that he and three others made plans and secured alibis Sunday for a burglary to occur at his father's Harrison home. He said he also made plans for his father to be murdered during the burglary.
Detectives say his father awoke to the smell of gunpowder and the sound of gunshots Sunday. Claxton's friends told him they believed they had killed his father because he quit snoring after the gun went off. Claxton was not injured in the shooting. Claxton's father found that his home had been burglarized but found no signs of forced entry on Monday. He said his home has security doors that require a code entry for access.
It's unclear what happened between Sunday and Monday afternoon when deputies were dispatched to that home on reports of an accidental shooting. But it wasn't the elder Claxton who was found suffering from a gunshot wound. Exact details of the incident are still unconfirmed but a release from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department confirms deputies were called to the same address on reports of a person shot. The victim was taken to the hospital with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Channel 3 has confirmed that victim as Claxton's friend Justin Allen.
"I was laying down asleep. I was woken up to: Justin, you've been shot," Allen said in an hospital room interview with Channel 3's Dan Kennedy. "They said it was an accident, they were playing with it and it went off on the other side of the bed and it just went off."
Allen said he and Claxton were with two others in the home's basement Monday afternoon when he was shot. The bullet, he said, was millimeters away from striking his heart. Allen said he knew nothing about the plot to commit murder and says he's gotten caught up with the wrong crowd.
"They didn't seem like they were planning to commit a murder. That's the last thing anybody would've thought, the last thing anybody would've thought," he said. "If this is true, those are not the people I thought they were at all."
Detectives with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department wouldn't comment on the case but arrived in Allen's hospital room to talk with him during Channel 3's interview.
Thomas Bedford Claxton was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and theft or property. He's currently being held on $80,000 bond.
Claxton is scheduled to appear before Judge Christie Sell on November 25.
As of now, only Claxton has been arrested and the other three friends that he implicates in the plot have not been charged with anything.
Friday, January 19 2018 10:49 AM EST2018-01-19 15:49:19 GMT
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