HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY — A nearly 20-year-old murder case in northern Kentucky has been solved after a patient at a local hospital allegedly confessed to the crime. Timothy Lee Delehanty, 36, is currently held without bond at the Kenton County Jail on a murder charge.
According to Cincinnati’s Fox affiliate, Delehanty admitted to killing 61-year-old Paul Clayton in 2006. The shocking confession came as Delehanty, who had recently been admitted as a patient at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington, attempted to leave with an intravenous line still in his arm. When hospital staff intervened, he asked to speak to a police officer.
Officials from the Elsmere Police Department were called in to investigate, and Delehanty allegedly told them he wanted to discuss the murder. He reportedly confessed to stabbing Clayton up to 60 times before fleeing in the victim’s vehicle. The murder occurred between November 30 and December 2 in 2006. Clayton’s colleagues became concerned when they couldn’t reach him and discovered his lifeless body inside his mobile home, covered in blood. Additionally, Clayton’s 1996 Ford Thunderbird was missing from the scene.
The police had previously identified Delehanty as a person of interest after a witness reported seeing him in the stolen vehicle, which was later recovered in Covington. However, he was only charged with receiving stolen property at the time and was never connected to Clayton’s murder until now.
The sudden confession has left Clayton’s family in shock and disbelief. “Seventeen years and you just turn around and say, by the way, hey, I did this,” said Jennifer Parker, Clayton’s daughter, in an interview. Prosecutors are equally surprised by the unexpected turn of events. “This is a first in my career,” said Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders, emphasizing that investigators are still working to determine a motive. If convicted, Delehanty could face life imprisonment.