Two Years Before Allegedly Poisoning Husband, Woman 'Accidentally' Shot Him with Crossbow: Report
Lana Sue Clayton, of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, said she'd "accidentally" shot husband Steven Clark with a crossbow in May 2016
About two years before she allegedly poisoned her husband with a common eye drop chemical, a South Carolina woman reportedly shot her spouse with a crossbow in an incident that was initially determined to have been an accident.
Law enforcement is taking a fresh look at the previous shooting, according to the Rock Hill Herald.
A 2016 incident report obtained by the Herald shows that Lana Sue Clayton, 52, told investigators in May 2016 that she’d shot husband Stephen Clayton that morning with a crossbow while “trying to load” an arrow.
The bow “accidentally” triggered after she moved from downstairs to the couple’s bedroom area upstairs, she said, according to the report.
Stephen was shot in the back of the head while he was sleeping and “woke up yelling and bleeding from the wound,” the report shows. NBC News and local TV stations WCNC and WSOC confirmed the 2016 incident. (A spokesperson for the York County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.)
Officers who interviewed Stephen in 2016 were told “he was fine and the shooting was accidental,” according to the Herald, citing the report. Stephen added that he “did not believe his wife was trying to kill him.” He said she sometimes would sleepwalk.
Lana, however, said in 2016 that Stephen was allegedly mentally — but not physically — abusive. She was “crying and upset,” the report states.
A year later, police labelled the shooting an “accident” and determined there was “no intent to commit a crime was found,” according to the Herald and WSOC.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
On Friday, Lana was detained by police and accused of tainting her husband’s drinking water over three days in July using Tetrahydrozoline, a chemical commonly found in eye drops and nasal spray.
In addition to murder, she is also charged with unlawful malicious tampering of food.
Stephen, 64, died on July 21 at their home in Lake Wylie.
“The investigation autopsy toxicology tests discovered poisonous levels of Tetrahydrozoline in the body of the victim,” reads a statement released over the weekend by police.
Lana remains in jail with no bond. She has yet to enter a plea to the charges against her, and it was unclear Friday if she had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.
A day before her arrest, Clayton allegedly attempted to kill herself using gas fumes, the Herald reports. Authorities said she also left “several suicidal notes” on a back deck table.
In a statement to WSOC, Stephen’s family remembered him as a doting husband:
“The family is shocked and mortified at the cause of Stephen’s death. All of our family and friends know how much he loved his wife, Lana, and how devoted he was to her. We are all still trying to process this.”