A former police officer accepted a plea deal for a life sentence in the murder of a Black woman he dated.
Dominique Clayton was afraid she might be pregnant and that Matthew Kinne might hurt her, according to the AP.
The original judge on the case recused himself after Clayton's family voiced concerns.
A former Oxford, Mississippi police officer avoided a potential death sentence by accepting a plea deal Friday in the murder of a Black woman he'd dated, according to Local24 News in Memphis.
Matthew Kinne, who is white, received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was arrested and charged with murdering Dominique Clayton in May 2019, one day after her son found her in bed with a gunshot wound to the back of her head.
Clayton's sister previously told Fox13 in Memphis that Clayton and Kinne were having an affair, that he had purchased a car for her, and that he planned to buy her a house.
Attorney Carlos Moore, a representative of Clayton's family, also told the Associated Press that Clayton had told relatives she was afraid Kinne might hurt her because she told him she could be pregnant.
Kinne's attorney, Anthony Farese, told WREG in Memphis that his client murdered Clayton after she threatened to expose their affair to his then-wife.
Clayton's children had spent the weekend before her murder with their uncle, her sister told Fox13. When they returned, Clayton's 8-year-old son was sent inside to lure his mother out and scare her with a toy snake placed outside the front door. Instead, the boy returned and told his family members that his mother was dead.
In a press conference after the sentencing hearing, a spokesperson for the family said Clayton's son had nightmares for months after finding his mother dead, according to Local 24 News reporter Brad Broders.
-Joneé Lewis WREG (@JoneeLewisTV) July 30, 2021
The judge who oversaw Kinne's first court appearance, Judge Andrew Howorth, delayed the former officer's bond hearing to allow his defense to meet with the prosecution to discuss the possibility of bond, according to The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Howorth recused himself the following day after Clayton's family took issue with his demeanor during the hearing, and a new judge ordered Kinne held without bond.
Moore, the Clayton family attorney, called Kinne a "cold blooded killer" and said the life sentence was adequate, according to Local 24 News' Broders.
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