May 25-OXFORD - A federal judge has canceled a Thursday hearing set to determine how much a former Oxford policemen owes the children of a woman he killed three years ago.
Instead, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson will consider an affidavit written by the dead woman's sister, who is the plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit, as well as the guilty plea that Matthew Kinne entered to the criminal charge of capital murder.
In the five-page letter, Shyjuan Clayton asked that the four children of Dominique Clayton be awarded more than $10 million. Kinne has been incarcerated since his arrest in May 2019 and has no source of income. There is no time frame for when the judge might announce his decision.
The lawsuit was filed in August 2021 by the family of Dominique Clayton, 32. It claims that Kinne was in uniform, driving a marked Oxford Police Department vehicle and acting under the color of law when he entered Clayton's house in May 2019 and shot her while she slept in her own bed.
Kinne pleaded guilty to capital murder in July 2021 and was sentenced to life in prison. When he failed to respond to the civil lawsuit from his prison cell, Judge Davidson issued a default ruling against Kinne.
In the five-page affidavit filed with the court last week, Shyjuan Clayton said she sees her sister's children, ages 11-17, on a near daily basis and has witnessed their emotional suffering over the last three years. She said the younger son was just 8 when he found his mother dead. The older brother went to his aid, and then prevented the two daughters from seeing their mother's body.
"This is something they will never forget," she said. "Although my sister's daughters did not see their murdered mother, the pain, fear, shock and disbelief was all the same."
She said the kids routinely have nightmares, and the daughters are seeing a therapist twice a week. She asked the court to award more than $300,000 in damages pay for therapy for all four children. The family is also asking for $200,000 for lost income.
The largest demand against Kinne is for the children's pain and suffering.
"They have suffered, and will always suffer mentally with the brutal murder of their mother," Shyjuan Clayton said. "We are asking the court to have mercy for Dominique Clayton's children. We know you can't take away their pain, but we are asking that each child be awarded $2,500,000 each for past, present and future pain and suffering."
The three categories, added together, total $10,518,900.
In April, Davidson scheduled a damages hearing for May 26 and denied a motion by Carlos Moore, who is representing the family of Dominique Clayton, to delay the proceeding because he would be out of town.
Tuesday, a second plaintiff attorney cited a conflict with a criminal trial to begin this week in Bolivar County Circuit Court.
Citing Shyjuan Clayton's affidavit and Kinne's capital murder plea colloquy, Judge Davidson said there was "adequate information before the court to address the issue of damages" in his order canceling the damages hearing.
The civil lawsuit also names the city of Oxford and Police Chief Jeff McCutchen as defendants. In September 2021, Oxford and McCutchen filed a motion to be dismissed as defendants from the lawsuit. Davidson has yet to act on that motion.