He started out as a corrections officer. Warden Glynn did not want Clayton to work in Oz. The main reason was that Clayton's father, Samuel Hughes, was murdered in Oz. Glynn and Clayton's father Sam were best friends and C.O.s working at the same time when an inmate killed Sam. It was later revealed that Samuel Hughes died because of Warden Glynn's mistake as a C.O. Clayton is a very troubled person who has been watched over by Warden Leo Glynn growing up.
Clayton was much too soft to be a C.O., being overpowered and bringing in a taser. Another time Clayton accidentally hit Officer Wittlesey in front of Ryan O'Reilly, giving her stitches. The inmates do not respect him and are not threatened by him. Clayton has a lot of family issues, many of those originating from his father's death and his mother's dislike of the prison.
While Hughes struggled with his familial issues and lack of authoritative capability, he was approached by Simon Adebisi. Adebisi established a common link with Hughes, claiming that his father, too, was killed in the very same prison (in reference to Jara). In conversation, Adebisi alludes to Caucasians being to blame for his father's death, and that African-Americans must seek communion in their struggles against their common adversary. This sparked a sense of purpose in Hughes, which allowed him to direct his hatred towards Governor James Devlin. After being fired by Warden Glynn, Hughes left a pistol in Adebisi's cell.
After going over the edge, Clayton tries to assassinate the governor, getting him placed in Lardener prison, then Oz upon Warden Glynn's recommendation. Rather than place Hughes in Emerald City or Gen Pop, Warden Glynn places him in Unit J (a block normally given for former law enforcement officers or prisoners needing protection) as Glynn fears Hughes would be targeted for murder or become subjected to manipulation by prisoners who remembered Hughes work as a C.O. During his time in Unit J he occupies the block with Alvin Yood (a middleaged former sheriff serving time in Oz for aggravated assault) and Johnny Basil (a former narcotics officer imprisoned for murdering a prisoner while working undercover in Oz.) Hughes does not adapt well to prison life, being insulted by Aryan inmate James Robson during a mail call and trying to start a fight with him. Despite Yood and Basil's efforts to converse with him, Clayton's only response is to berate both of them. This stems from the fact that Yood is Caucasian and Basil, despite being African-American, supports Yood. As the days go by Hughes becomes gradually more and more hostile. During another one of Hughes' rants, Yood, who has become increasingly tired of Hughes' militant tirade, finally snaps, nearly coming to blows with Hughes, which is only stopped by Basil calling their C.O., Claire Howell. Hughes then questions why Basil would choose Yood's side over his as he and Basil are both African-American. Basil responds by saying "what you are, is a fuckwad", which greatly angers Clayton.
After Basil returns from a visit with his wife, Hughes manages to block their supervising C.O., Claire Howell, inside her office, as she was too engaged in a telephone conversation to notice any signs of foul play. While Basil is working out and Yood is asleep, Hughes stabs Basil in a fit of rage first in the stomach, then later in the back of the neck, killing him. At that moment Yood emerges from his bunk, catching Hughes as he stabs Basil. Enraged, Yood tackles Hughes, pinning him to the wall, who despite trying to break free by head-butting Yood is restrained by him long enough for the C.O.s to intercept. As a result, Hughes is now confined to solitary. When taken to solitary, Glynn looks on in utter disbelief. Hughes laughs, showing no sign of regret or remorse for his actions. While confined to solitary, Hughes loses his mind and imagines himself President of the fictional "Democratic Republic of Huru," managing to overpower a guard and seizing control of the solitary ward. He is killed by inmate Greg Penders while trying to assassinate Glynn, the inmate thinking he could find favor this way. He dies in the arms of Leo Glynn, just as his father had.
- Johnny Basil - Murdered by Hughes in Unit J, after Basil called him a "fuckward".