The News & Record
South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
Home   •   News   •   Sports   •   Classifieds   •   Community   •   Health   •   Entertainment   •   Obituaries   •   Opinions   •   Weather
Advertising | Contact | Register
Advanced Search

Election do-over raises hackles

South Boston reverses move to November voting; Wyatt-Younger wins bid for vice mayor

South Boston sets aside cigarette tax decision for 90 days

Four more metal detectors deployed at HCHS, HCMS


Dixie Boys 2-0 in state action





Medley: 33 years for murder of estranged wife

South Boston News
Medley / March 05, 2018
William Maurice Medley, a rescue squad medic before being arrested for the December 2016 murder of his estranged wife, will serve 33 years behind bars after pleading guilty to four charges Friday in Halifax County Circuit Court.

At a pre-trial hearing, Medley offered Alford pleas of guilt to the first degree murder of Tearron Clayborn of South Boston and three counts of child abuse or neglect, the latter charges stemming from the fact three children were in the household at the time of the Dec. 9, 2016 slaying.

For the first degree murder conviction, Medley was sentenced to life in prison with all but 30 years suspended; he received 36 months in jail on the three child abuse charges, with all time to run consecutively.

An Alford plea of guilt is an admission by the defendant that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction at trial. After hearing the pleas, Circuit Judge Kim S. White rendered the guilty verdicts.

Under an agreement with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Medley agreed not to appeal his convictions and to remain on good behavior following his release from prison. He also agreed to forgo any future contacts with the family unless any member expresses a desire in writing to see him, and is prohibited from possessing firearms for the rest of his life. He will also pay $5,846.16 in restitution to the Virginian Victims Fund and $1,782.96 to Tiffini Clayborn, sister of the deceased, for funeral expenses.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Quackenbush Martin said she entered into the plea arrangement with Medley with the full support of Tearron Clayborn’s family and in the interest of sparing the children the ordeal of testifying at trial.

“The Commonwealth consulted closely with Tearron’s family and entered this agreement with their full support,” said Martin in a prepared statement. “We all agreed that this was the best way to protect the children he chose to victimize from having to testify and to relive the horror of the events of that night, and to still achieve justice.

“This has been an extremely painful time in the life of this family. I am grateful, and I commend them for their attitudes and their participation in this prosecution,” said Martin.

Tearron Clayborn was 34 years old when she died.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, the Commonwealth’s Attorney dropped one charge against Medley for use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

At Friday’s hearing, Martin presented evidence that William Medley and Tearron Clayborn, separated at the time of the murder, had been arguing earlier in the day about a domestic matter. Medley, a full-time medic with the Mecklenburg County Lifesaving and Rescue Squad in Clarksville, went to his estranged wife’s home on U.S. 58 west of South Boston armed with a handgun and ordered the couple’s children inside a back bedroom. The children had been preparing to go to the Snowball Dance that night at Halifax County High School.

“Minutes later, the children heard gunfire and emerged from the bedroom. The defendant left the children and the victim at the home and, later that evening, arrived at the jail and turned the murder weapon over to authorities,” stated Martin of the sequence of events before and after Clayborn’s death.

The couple had four children, three of whom were home at the time of the shooting.

Martin also said that friends and family of Medley’s had been concerned about his demeanor before the slaying and contacted the 911 Center for help. The dispatch center conducted welfare checks of both the victim and the defendant and called Clayborn’s home to check on her well-being. While Clayborn was on the line with dispatch, Medley showed up at the home and told her to hang up the phone.

“The Commonwealth’s theory of the case was that Medley shot his estranged wife moments later,” said Martin.

A search of the home by investigators with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office turned up two bullet casings, which the Department of Forensic Science in Richmond later identified as having been fired from the murder weapon, a Glock 9mm Luger firearm. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recovered a bullet from the victim’s clothing which the Department of Forensic Science also identified as having been fired from the murder weapon. The coroner confirmed that the victim’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the heart.

Prosecutors requested additional testing of the firearm by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in response to a claim by defense lawyer Michael Nicholas that the weapon had misfired. “My thanks [goes] to the ATF who tested every failsafe on the firearm. I am convinced this firearm did not discharge accidentally,” stated Martin.

The murder stunned many who knew Medley, a Halifax County resident who had worked for a number of area EMT organizations, including the Turbeville Fire Department and the Clarksville Fire Department. The former Army Ranger and small engine mechanic had been employed for more than two years with the Clarksville rescue squad before the murder of his estranged wife.

Medley was described as the “calmest, most well-collected person” and “very level headed” by Justin Eubank, who served as captain of the Mecklenburg County Lifesaving and Rescue Squad. Josh Stone, a police officer with the Clarksville Police Department who had known Medley since both were youths, said he was “shocked” by the news of the shooting.

The crime underscored the toll of domestic violence and led to a candlelight vigil in memory of Tearron Clayborn and to show support for family members who took in her four children. Clayborn, who at the time went by her married name of Medley, had been a client of the Domestic Violence program with Tri-County Community Action Agency and had reported being a victim of abuse for years.

“We were devastated when we heard about the loss of somebody struggling to make changes in their life,” said Kim Carson, director of the domestic violence program, days after the murder. “We do so much in Halifax County, and for someone to be killed, a domestic homicide, that’s just devastating,” she continued.

Prior to entering his guilty pleas Friday, Medley had been scheduled to undergo a week-long jury trial in Halifax County Circuit Court.

Tell-a-Friend | Submit a Comment


Classified Advertising

Buy and sell items in News & Record classifieds.