Clayton Courtney pleads not guilty in stabbing

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, May 22, 2014

JANESVILLE—A man charged in a highly publicized stabbing in Janesville on May 4 pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday in Rock County Court.

A trial already has been ordered in the case of Clayton J. Courtney, 28, who is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

He also is charged with obstructing an officer and four domestic-abuse charges: first-degree recklessly endangering safety, attempted arson, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct while armed.

Courtney is a suspect in a homicide that police believe occurred the same night as the stabbing.

The body of Britney N. Cross, 21, an acquaintance of Courtney's, was found behind a vacant building near the Rock River the morning of May 5.

Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore said he didn't expect an arrest this week.

Moore met with District Attorney David O'Leary on Thursday, and they talked about the fact that they could wait before any arrest or charges in the Cross homicide, Moore said.

“There's no rush to make this arrest because he is in custody, he's not a threat to community, and we're waiting for DNA and toxicology” lab test results, Moore said.

Courtney is alleged to have said during the fight in which he is suspected of stabbing Michael Clark that he had already killed three people.

The stabbing occurred at the house Courtney shared with Clark and the mother of Clark's two children at 1602 N. Pontiac Drive.

Moore said police do not have any new leads on any other homicides, including no missing people.

Police have not ruled out a connection between Courtney and Mary Coulthard, the 75-year-old woman who went missing days before the stabbing. Coulthard's body was found later in the river.

An autopsy determined that Coulthard had drowned but also an injury that occurred before she died.

Police have not found any connection between Coulthard and Courtney, however, and Moore said such a connection is unlikely.

Police are awaiting lab tests in Coulthard's case as well.

Tips about Courtney have tailed off, but, Moore said, “We're still willing to talk to anybody.”

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