By Alyssa Schnugg
The bond hearing for an Oxford police officer accused of killing his alleged lover was postponed by a Circuit Court Judge Tuesday at the Lafayette County Courthouse to give prosecutors and defense attorneys time to work out an agreement over the bond.
The decision did not sit well with the about 50 family and friends of Dominique “Lucy” Clayton, who attended the court hearing.
Clayton was found dead in her Brittany Woods home Sunday afternoon. OPD Mounted Patrol Officer Matthew Kinne was arrested Monday and charged with her murder.
It was unknown Wednesday if Kinne has been let go or suspended from OPD.
Today’s court hearing was originally slated to be a probable cause hearing, which is given to police officers, teachers and other professionals who hold authority over others to determine if there is enough evidence to charge the suspect.
However, Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth said Wednesday that he determined that since Kinne was not acting in his official role as a law enforcement officer at the time of the crime, there was no need for a probable cause hearing.
“The crime of murder falls outside the official duties of a law enforcement officer,” Howorth said.
Evidence against Kinne will go before a grand jury to determine if there is enough evidence for an indictment and whether the charge should be simple murder or capital murder.
Howorth said state prosecutors asked him to give them some time to review their position they want to take on the bond in hopes of seeing if a bond recommendation can be made to the court, rather than the court set a bond without a recommendation.
“Or without some kind of agreement between the prosecuting and defense attorneys,” Howorth said.
Howorth said the bond hearing will be rescheduled for sometime in the near future.
“It could be as early as next week,” he said.
After walking out of the courtroom, family members started shouting in the hallway outside of the courtroom, upset over the judge’s decision and media who were filming. The tense gathering soon ended with police officers having to intervene and break up the crowd, leading some away down the courthouse stairwells and putting some into the elevator.
However, once outside on the courthouse lawn, the anger and pain of losing their loved one reignited the shouting.
Family members said that if it was a black man charged with a murder he wouldn’t get a chance to work out his own bond hearing.
“When does a defendant get to decide their bond?” shouted Clayton’s mother, Bessie Clayton. “They are allowing a killer to decide his bond. We need help here in Oxford.”
A family member of Clayton said Kinne, who is married, had been dating Clayton for about a year and that Clayton was trying to end their relationship.
After the hearing and commotion that followed, OPD Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen said OPD does not want Kinne to receive a bond.
“Matthew Kinne committed murder and we do not want him out,” McCutchen said. “We support the Clayton family and we stand by them. We do not support a bond. He needs to be in jail. That’s where he should be.”