By Alyssa Schnugg
Video by Talbert Toole
*Updated to include statement from the Attorney General’s Office
“This not a racial thing. This is a human thing.”
Attorney Carlos Moore, recently retained by the family of Dominique “Lucy” Clayton who was killed last weekend, asked the community to “remain calm” while he and his law firm help bring Clayton’s killer to justice.
“Looting won’t bring her back. Burning your town down won’t bring her back,” he said Friday during a press conference in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse. “We will have to get to the facts and let the facts lead where they do and hopefully, we get justice.”
Matthew Kinne, an Oxford police officer at the time, was arrested Monday and charged with Clayton’s murder. Kinne was fired from the Oxford Police Department on Tuesday. According to family members, the two had been dating for about a year, even though Kinne was married.
Moore said Clayton thought she might have been pregnant and allegedly told Kinne; however, Moore said he didn’t know if that was the motive in Clayton’s murder. Her body was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Jackson for a forensic autopsy. Results of that autopsy have not yet been released.
Earlier on Friday, bond was denied for Kinne in an order filed by Circuit Court Judge John Gregory. He is being held at the Panola County Jail.
During the press conference, Moore said Clayton was discovered by her youngest child after being dropped off at their Brittany Woods home by his uncle.
Moore, the managing partner for The Cochran Firm-Mississippi Delta, said he and his firm will be conducting their own investigation into Clayton’s death.
“No stone will be left unturned in discovering the truth,” Moore said with dozens of Clayton’s family and friends standing behind him holding signs that read, “Justice for Dominique.”
Moore said some of the questions he will be attempting to answer include why Kinne has been charged with simple murder and not capital murder.
“We believe that Miss Clayton was asleep, so how did he get in? If he burglarized her home and then committed murder, I believe that’s capital murder, and capital murder would deserve the death penalty.” Moore said.
After the grand jury reviews the case, they will determine if the charge is upgraded to capital murder, remains simple murder or dropped. The next grand jury is scheduled to meet in August; however, a special grand jury could be called prior to August.
Moore said if Kinne is found guilty, the family will be seeking the death penalty — more specifically, death by firing squad. However, while death by firing squad was made a legal option for the death penalty in Mississippi in 2017, it is only if the first three options — lethal injection, nitrogen gas and electrocution — are held unconstitutional, or are “otherwise unavailable.”
He also hinted at possible future civil suits.
“While I am very appreciative of the mayor and the interim police chief, if Oxford was somehow complicit in this murder, if they somehow enabled, if their policies somehow contributed to this death, we’re going to hold everyone accountable, including the city of Oxford,” Moore said.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood contacted Moore to ask him to inform the victim’s family of the office’s Victim Assistance Program, according to a spokesperson from the AG’s Office. Hood also sent three investigators to Oxford Thursday to assist with the Internal Affairs investigation and has invited the FBI to assist. Hood’s office is not investigating the murder, which is being handled by the MBI.
Hood said his office’s goal is to assist the victim’s family.
“I want to make sure it gets done right,” Hood said.