Makiki double-murder-suicide: More details emerge about killer’s military background

The Honolulu Star Advertiser article today reveals more information about Clayborne Conley’s military background, his post-traumatic stress disorder, and his violent, troubled past. Here are some excerpts from the story:

Friends identified the shooter as Clayborne Conley, a former Hawaii National Guardsman with a history of violent behavior and mental instability.

Conley was deployed with his Hawaii unit to Iraq in 2004, and friends said he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Conley and Cass met late last year, Tsai said, and the two dated off and on before Cass recently called it off.

Court records show Conley has had several run-ins with the law, including misdemeanor charges for assault, terroristic threatening and violating a TRO.

In 2009 Conley was acquitted by reason of insanity of first-degree burglary and second-degree charges relating to a January 2007 incident at a Ward Avenue apartment building.

He was committed to the Hawaii State Hospital in April 2009 and placed on conditional release seven months later.

IN THE PHONE conversation with Cass on the night before she died, Tsai applauded her friend’s decision to get a TRO against Conley. Tsai told Cass, “He’s going to wind up saying, ‘If I can’t have you, no one can.'”

Tsai said Conley suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq and was diagnosed later with PTSD.

She said he appeared to be struggling, after a period of improvement. Other friends agreed.

Bill Sage, who does voice-overs for radio and television, knew the couple and said Conley recently complained of feeling depressed.

Sage said the former soldier was in an outpatient program for PTSD at Tripler Army Medical Center but was not regularly attending his treatment sessions.

CONLEY WAS a member of the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony, National Guard spokesman.

In a 2005 post on the Give2TheTroops website, Conley wrote an e-mail from Baghdad, thanking the group for a care package. “The tuna was great – 40 hungry Hawaiians gobbled it up in about five minutes,” he said.

Conley identified himself as a “weekend warrior” with the Hawaii Army National Guard and a former active-duty Ranger in Washington. He said he joined the guard after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the post, Conley also said he had two children and a wife, to whom he had been married for 17 years.

Conley’s unit returned from a yearlong deployment to Iraq in 2005, and he was discharged from the Guard more than three years ago. Anthony could not provide Conley’s exact discharge date or say whether he was honorably discharged.

Anthony also said he could not release details on whether Conley was undergoing treatment at Tripler.



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