York County woman sentenced to 25 years for fatally poisoning husband with eye drops

A York County woman charged with fatally poisoning her husband in 2018 pleaded guilty in court Thursday to voluntary manslaughter. She has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Lana Sue Clayton was charged with murder and unlawful malicious tampering of food in the death of her husband, Stephen Delvalle Clayton, on Aug. 31, 2018. 

According to York County authorities, Stephen Clayton died on July 21, 2018, from poisoning. Detectives said the poisoning occurred between July 19 and 21 at their home in the 4000 block of Island Forks Rd. in Clover, South Carolina. 


Here’s a first look at Clayton in the courtroom speaking to her attorney. (Photo: FOX 46 Charlotte) 

Toxicology results revealed poisonous levels of tetrahydrozoline, a type of eye drop, in the victim's body.

Lana Clayton admitted to investigators that she gave her husband the substance without his knowledge.

“I did put the Visine in his drink to make him sick and uncomfortable. I wanted him to leave me alone. I didn’t know it would kill him.”

The courtroom was packed on Thursday as Lana Clayton appeared before a judge for the first time since the death of her husband in 2018. The judge asked, "anyone unable to contain their emotions to step out." 

Lana Clayton entered a guilty plea on Thursday for voluntary manslaughter in this case. 

“Why didnt you just walk out when you couldn’t take any more?” the judge asked Clayton as he gave his remarks just before the sentencing.