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Posted: 2/18/2005 12:25:43 PM EDT
Felon Arrested For 18-Year-Old Murder
Clayton Allegedly Killed Journalist In 1987

POSTED: 11:59 a.m. PST February 17, 2005
UPDATED: 5:39 p.m. PST February 17, 2005

Story by 10News.com

SAN DIEGO -- Law enforcement officials announced the arrest Thursday of a 39-year-old convicted felon for allegedly killing a prominent black journalist in 1987.

Stanley Ray Clayton was arrested for the fatal stabbing of Voice & Viewpoint newspaper editor William Thompson, (pictured, left), San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

Dumanis said Clayton is eligible for the death penalty because he is charged with murder and a special circumstance of murder during a robbery. A decision will be made later on whether to seek death or life in prison without parole if the defendant is convicted.

Clayton is a third-strike felon serving 35 years to life at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County for a residential burglary committed in San Diego, authorities said. He was transported to San Diego Thursday for further questioning, authorities said.

Homicide detectives and the district attorney's "cold case" team finally cracked the case using [n]"new technology," San Diego police spokesman David Cohen said.

Thompson, 61, was found dead in his Emerald Hills home on Jan. 13, 1987. His body was found by his cousin, who became concerned that outside lights at the victim's house on Roswell Court were on during the day, police said.

Investigators said Thompson had been stabbed repeatedly and was dead for several hours before the body was discovered.

Police found no signs of forced entry into Thompson's house and nothing was in disarray, except in the bedroom where Thompson's body was found, police said. His 1984 Oldsmobile was missing but was found the next day in San Diego.

Investigators reopened the unsolved case in 2003, and were able to trace blood evidence found at the murder scene to Clayton's DNA through a statewide database that tracks such information, according to Sgt. Jorge Duran, who heads the police department's cold case team.

Duran said Clayton allegedly killed Thompson during a robbery, and that the two men may have known each other.

"There was evidence of a struggle in the home and his car was stolen," Duran said, adding later, "There may have been an acquaintance between the victim and the suspect."

Willie Morrow, a longtime friend of Thompson's and publisher of the San Diego Monitor, said he does not believe the motive was burglary.

"His body was just too sliced up, too brutally mutilated to have been just a robbery," Morrow said. "I think he was targeted for some other reason. Robbery doesn't make sense."

Morrow, who was also a neighborhood barber at the time of the killing, said Clayton "looked familiar" when police showed him a picture of the suspect.

"I'm elated to hear that the police finally made an arrest because Mr. Thompson was a great man," Morrow said. "He did so much for the community and brought so much to southeast San Diego."

Voice & Viewpoint, founded in 1960, publishes weekly out of offices in the Oak Park district. Thompson had bought the newspaper two years before his death.

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