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Clay Warner
Warner
Name Clay Warner
Occupation Writer
Teacher
Pathology Double murderer
Robber
Repeat offender
Family Marta Warner (mother)
Unnamed father (deceased)
Status Executed
First Appearance "Genius"

Clay Warner was a double murderer, robber and repeat offender. He killed a fellow convict while in prison on drug dealing charges and later began writing. He was released due to the efforts of famous author Nelson Lambert, who recognized his talent. Eventually Warner ended up killing again once freed.

Background

Not much is known about Clay's past, with the exception that, according to him, his father "slept with every tramp on the Upper East Side" and, according to Clay's mother, Marta, he "died in a pool of his own vomit". As a consequence of this, Marta considered his son a "bad seed" from the moment of his birth and neglected him even as an adult, when he asked her for money loans. In his 20s, he paid his rent by selling marijuana to grad students at New York University. He was eventually tipped off by a PhD candidate who got picked up for soliciting a prostitute and traded his name for his own clean slate. Clay was sentenced to 10 years at Sing Sing.

While in prison, he got caught up in a brawl inside the laundry and stabbed to death an inmate because "he didn't like him". He started writing and sent a manuscript to Nelson Lambert, a famous author who was regarded by most as "the voice of his generation". Recognizing Clay's talent, Lambert helped him publishing his book, Twilight, and began writing letters to newspapers and taking out ads in The New York Review of Books. He also hired an attorney who submerged the judges with appeals, prompting them to finally reduce Clay's penalty from 10 to six years. Nelson found Clay a job as a creative writing teacher at Hudson University.

Genius

One night, after spending some time at Helen's bar with Nelson, he took a cab on his way home. The driver, Robert Lee Redburn, a former Ku Klux Klan member, murderer, and child pornography trader, ordered him to put out the cigar Clay was smoking. Redburn stopped the cab, prompting Clay to pull him out of the vehicle and stab him to death with a knife. He then took the money from the cab and concealed the corpse under the car. Detectives Briscoe and Green later arrested him because of circumstantial evidence linking him to the murder, including an accurate description of his first murder in his book that perfectly matched the way Redburn was killed. After the murder weapon and stolen money were found by ADA Southerlyn at his workplace, Clay resigned himself and requested that he was given the death penalty for his crimes.

Dr. Emil Skoda examined Clay, ultimately determining that the latter was well-aware of his actions and could not be considered insane. Though EADA Jack McCoy was uncertain on what was really the right thing to do, the court sentenced Clay to capital punishment in accordance with the agreement reached between the defense and the district attorney's office.