A former Oxford police officer has been ordered to pay the children of a woman he mur’dered millions of dollars. A fed’eral judge iss’ued a default ruling ag’ainst the ex-cop after he fai’led to respond to the civil la’wsuit from his pr’ison cell.
Senior U.S. Dis’trict Court Judge Glen Davidson ordered Matthew Kinne to pay the des’cendants of Dom’inique Lashelle Clayton, a 32-year-old Bl’ack woman he sh’ot in the back of her h’ead while she was sleeping, $2.2 million.
The woman’s family hi’red Carlos Moore, the pres’ident of the National Bar Association, to represent them in a ci’vil la’wsuit.
Originally, Clayton’s sister, Shyjuan Clayton, said the four underage children should receive $10 million in comp’ensation and additional ther’apy costs.
Shyjuan and the family’s atto’rneys estimated there are three places where the children will be at a def’icit because their mother is not al’ive in their liv’es: ther’apy, child/ family support, and pa’in and suf’fering.
The aunt says the children routinely have nightm’ares and are trau’matized since the viol’ent ki’lling. Clayton’s youngest son, who was 8 years old at the time of the mur’der, discv’ered his mother’s bo’dy.
The older brother ste’pped in to console his baby brother but later directed his att’ention to his two sisters — bloc’king them from seeing the vic’tim.
The daughters have ther’apy sessions twice a week, but the family believes all three of the younger children should go and that Kinne should pay for it. The ask was for them to see a ther’apist twice a week for the next 10 years. The family requested the court allow the oldest son to go once a week for the next five years.
Currently, the family is paying $90 per session for the two girls, and based on that price, wan’ts an award of $318,900 for ther’apy costs, the Daily Journal rep’orts.
“This is something they will never forget,” Shyjuan said. “Although my sister’s daughters did not see their mur’dered mother, the pa’in, fe’ar, sho’ck and disb’elief was all the same.”
FOX 13 reports, in May of 2019, the then O’PD officer bro’ke into Clayton’s house on Sunc’rest Drive, under the gui’se of doing a wellness check. He wore his unif’orm and was on duty when he fata’lly sh’ot Clayton in her sleep. The two were rum’ored to have been in a relationship and Kinne was married, and Clayton wan’ted him to com’mit fully to her.
Kinne, a Missis’sippi native, was fi’red after pleading gui’lty to capital mur’der, and now he is ser’ving a life sen’tence without the possibility of par’ole.
The dece’ased’s family fi’led a wron’gful law’suit, two years after her de’ath, in August 2021. Mo’ore said this might be Missis’sippi’s largest judgment ever in an exce’ssive force case.
Clayton rep’ortedly earned an annual income of about $30,000 as a Chip’otle employee, spending about two-thirds of every check on the sup’port of her family. Based on that sal’ary and multiplying it over a 10-year-period, the family believes the children should receive an award of $200,000 in economic support for lo’st income.
In addition to the thera’py and lo’ss of income in support of the children, the family is asking for pa’in and suf’fering to be considered.
“They have suf’fered, and will always suf’er men’tally with the br’utal mur’der of their mother,” Shyjuan said. “We are asking the court to have mercy for Dominique Clayton’s children. We know you can’t take away their pa’in, but we are asking that each child be awarded $2,500,000 each for past, present, and future pa’in and suff’ering.”
The three categories together add up to a total ask of $10,518,900.
Davidson’s rul’ing was for less than what the family wanted but still significant.
“The Court finds that the Defe’ndant Kinne is liable for compensatory dam’ages in the amount of $1,200,000. In arriving at this figure, the Court awards $300,000 to each of the sur’viving children of the Dec’edent, for a total of $1,200,000,” the documents said.
Davidson awarded pun’itive dam’ages in the amount of $1 million to the Clayton children, whose ages range between 11 to 17, totaling an award of $2.2 million.
The decision in Kinne’s ca’se will not affect claims aga’inst the city of Oxford and other defe’ndants in the ca’se.
In addition to the city, the civil law’suit names Police Chief Jeff McCutchen as a defe’ndant. In September 2021, Oxford and McCutchen both filed a motion to be dism’issed as defe’ndants from the law’suit. Davidson has not ruled on the dism’issal motion.
Kinne is no longer employed by the city and is currently incar’cerated, so many wonder “where will the $2 million come from?”
Moore says the city of Oxford. The courts could assign the bur’den to the city if the family can prove Kinne was on duty as an Oxford po’lice officer and in uniform when he comm’itted the cr’ime.
“The million-dollar question is whether his actions were within the scope of his employment,” the lawyer said.