OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Emotions were high inside the Lafayette County Courthouse Wednesday where a Mississippi police officer appeared in court after being arrested for murder earlier this week.
Matthew Kinne, 38, is accused of killing Dominique Clayton, 32. Clayton’s family says she was shot in the back of the head while she was asleep in her bedroom Sunday.
Kinne, who is a police officer in Oxford, Mississippi, was arrested a day later.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation stepped in when the Oxford Police Department learned Kinne and Clayton had a relationship.
Clayton’s family says she was romantically involved with Kinne for a year. They say the mother of four tried to end things with the officer before she was killed.
Records show Kinne became a police officer in Mississippi in November 2006. Last year, he was named Oxford Police Department’s Mounted Officer of the Year.
Clayton’s family was visibly upset after Kinne’s hearing.
“When do a defendant decide their bond?” said Bessie Clayton, Dominique’s mother. “When do a judge sit on a bench of a murder charge and laugh?”
Kinne’s attorney, Tiffany Kipatrick, says the judge deferred Wednesday’s hearing to allow the attorneys time to discuss possible bond.
“That’s how most cases are handled,” said Kilpatrick.
Clayton’s family says Judge Andrew Howorth is not taking the case seriously, seemingly laughing in the middle of the hearing.
The judge said he couldn’t comment on the family’s concerns.
The leader of Kinne’s own police department spoke briefly after the hearing.
“Matthew Kinne committed murder and we do not want him out,” said Interim Police Chief Jeff McCutchen “We support them and we will stand by them.”
McCutchen later sent a statement emphasizing the department’s frustration at the discussion of bond.
“There is NO ‘reasonable’ bond, which can be set in this case,” reads the statement. “Matthew Kinne should not be released. He is a danger to our community and should not be released. We share in the frustrations of the community, stand with, and support the Clayton Family. This is about justice for Dominique Clayton.”
For now, Kinne remains in jail without bond.
Alderman Jason Bailey confirms that by a unanimous decision, the board voted to terminate Kinne from the force Tuesday night.