"He just basically didn’t want his wife to find out," said the victim's sister.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 5, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of abuse and murder that may be disturbing to readers.
Anger really brings out the worst in people. A former police officer in Oxford, Mississippi, reportedly killed his ex-girlfriend because she broke up with him, and threatened to expose their affair to his wife. Matthew Kinne, 38, who was romantically involved with Dominique Clayton, 32, finally pleaded guilty to murdering her in July 2021.
The Oxford Eagle reports that the sentencing hearing took place on July 30, 2021, at the Union County Courthouse in New Albany. Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Jeff Busby, assistant district attorney Mickey Mallette and attorney Carlos Moore, who represents the Clayton family each confirmed Kinney will take a plea deal of a life sentence without the possibility of parole. During the hearing, Kinne entered the guilty plea to capital murder, in Union County Circuit Court, according to WTVA.
Matthew Kinne is set to accept a plea deal this week, more than two years after the death of Dominique Clayton. https://t.co/DOOcXvV8sm— Jake Thompson (@JakeThompsonOE) July 26, 2021
According to the Associated Press, Kinne broke into Clayton's home in May 2019 and ruthlessly shot her in the head while she was asleep. The slain woman's body was discovered by her 8-year-old son, one of her four kids, who were away from the house, spending the weekend with their uncle, per Fox13. The boy was sent into the house to lure his mom out for a prank, but he found his mother's dead body instead.
Two days after Clayton's death, Kinne was arrested and charged with murder. He was also fired from the police department. At the time, his attorney Tony Farese filed court papers to determine if Kinne is mentally fit to stand trial. Meanwhile, Carlos Moore, an attorney representing Clayton’s family, said that the request for such an evaluation is only to delay the proceedings.
“It is time for Mr. Kinne to face a jury of his peers,” Moore said. “I just do not believe the good mayor and board of aldermen put a gun in the hands of a mentally ill man and swore him to protect and serve. ... He’s trying to get out of jail free by playing crazy.” As expected, Farese denied. “I respectfully disagree with Mr. Moore,” Farese said. “This is not a delay tactic, nor is it a frivolous motion.”
Farese then added that his client "broke" when Clayton threatened to tell his wife about the affair. "He's remorseful," Farese said, as reported by PEOPLE. "This was a situation where he literally got to the point where he broke. This has been a law-abiding citizen, a law enforcement officer, he had no prior history and he literally got pushed to the brink of breaking and he committed a crime of passion."
According to Clayton's sister, Shyjuan Clayton, there were problems in the relationship, which is probably what convinced her to break it off in the first place. "She was having an affair with Matt, the police officer with OPD," Shyjuan explained. "(He was) real possessive and stalking her... kept sneaking in her house I guess he did this so he wouldn’t have to tell the wife."
"He bought my sister a car and kept it in his name," Shyjuan continued. "He was about to get her a house. He just basically didn’t want his wife to find out."
"He wouldn't leave her alone. He would rather have her dead than someone else have her."— Symone Woolridge (@SymoneTV) July 27, 2021
A former MS police officer is expected to plead guilty after Dominique Clayton was killed at her home in 2019. Police arrested ex-officer Matthew Kinne and charged him w/capital murder. pic.twitter.com/fpZxNXmj8i
The news of her sister's death has been hard to process for Shyjuan and the rest of the family. "It broke us because my sister was the life of the party, she made us laugh," Shyjuan said. "My sister was crazy and silly. It won’t be the same without her."
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images/ Photo by Chanin Wardkhian