OXFORD • The family of a woman allegedly shot and killed by an on-duty Oxford policeman has asked the city for at least $5 million.
Attorney Carlos Moore, who represents the family of Dominique Clayton, sent a letter Monday to the city of Oxford formally demanding “an amount in excess of $5 million for compensatory and/or punitive damages” for the family’s “mental and emotional pain and anguish.”
Moore, representing Clayton’s mother, Betsy Moore, sent the notice of claim letter by certified mail to the city clerk and interim police chief.
“The letter is a prerequisite for filing a wrongful death lawsuit,” Moore told the Daily Journal. “The city has 90 days to come to a settlement or we will file suit (in U.S. District Court).”
In the letter, Moore alleges that Matthew Kinne, 38, was on duty and in his Oxford Police Department uniform when he entered the home of Clayton, 32, and shot her around 1:45 a.m. on May 19. Clayton’s body was discovered about 12 hours later by her 8-year-old son.
Kinne, 38, was arrested the next day and charged with murder. He was later fired by the Oxford Police Department after four years on the job. Kinne is being held without bond in the Panola County Jail. He is represented by Ashland-based attorney Tony Farese.
Kinne, who is married, and Clayton were involved in a sexual relationship. Her family said the relationship was well-known and Kinne was paying both her house and car payments. According to Moore, while working nights, Kinne would visit Clayton’s 1009 Suncrest Drive home in the Brittany Woods subdivision.
“Kinne would frequently visit Ms. Clayton’s home while on the job and in his uniform,” Moore said. “He would arrive at around 1:30 a.m. and leave around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Clayton believed she was pregnant and told Kinne. In the days before her death, Kinne reportedly visited the house unexpectedly. He later forced Clayton to get rid of her dogs three days before she was killed, Moore said.
In addition to Kinne’s actions, Moore claims other members of the police department added to the emotional distress by spreading lies.
“Oxford police officers also caused undue stress on (Clayton’s mother) Betsy Clayton and other family members by initially stating Dominique Clayton committed suicide, although a gun was not found on the scene,” Moore said.
The demand letter will be forwarded to the city’s liability insurance carrier.