DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Berkeley Man Convicted of Murder for Hire

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney's Office announced today that William “Chuckie” Clarett was convicted of federal conspiracy to commit murder for hire involving the murder of Travis Hayden.
 
On April 22, 2015, Travis Hayden was murdered in Berkeley, MO.  A witness identified William Clarett, a/k/a “Chuckie” as the shooter.  That same day, the witness gave a written statement to police and picked Clarett out in a photospread.  On December 31, 2015, investigators arrested Clarett for the murder of Travis Hayden.  A complaint was issued on January 1, 2016, charging Clarett with Murder 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action.  Clarett was detained at the St. Louis County Justice Center. 
 
On February 10, 2016,  the witness testified before a grand jury in St. Louis County and the Grand Jury returned a true bill on the murder and ACA counts. The witness’ name and address were publicly disclosed in connection with the indictment. While Clarett was detained in the Justice Center on the murder, Clarett began talking to an inmate that he knew from the neighborhood. The inmate advised authorities that Clarett was asking him to help find someone to kill the witness.  ATF then arranged to have an Undercover Officer (UC) pose as a potential hitman.  Between June 14, 2016 and June 30, 2016, Clarett spoke to UC six times over the phone about killing the witness.  On July 1, 2016, Clarett met with UC at the Justice Center and told him he would provide UC with the down payment for the murder.  Thereafter, Clarett released $500 from his commissary which was later given to the UC along with the photograph of the witness.
 
Clarett, 34, Berkeley, MO, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The three-day trial was held before United States District Judge Audrey Fleissig.  Sentencing has been set for September 2017.
 
Clarett is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
 
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Cottleville Police Department.
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