Judge presiding over Mississippi mother's murder case recuses himself after demands from family

OXFORD, Miss. — In a document provided by the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, the judge presiding over the case involving a police officer accused of killing a woman has recused himself.

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Judge Andrew Howorth recused himself from the case involving the murder of Dominique Clayton on Thursday, one day after her accused killer – Matthew Kinne – appeared in court for the first time.

Family members told FOX13 they were upset that the judge appeared to be lighthearted about an affidavit going missing. Judge Howorth had joked when officers had to take a break to find the charging affidavit.

Clayton’s family called that motion insensitive, along with the fact that bond will be further discussed between the state and Kinne’s attorney.

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The document cited statements made by the victim’s family following that court appearance Wednesday as one of the reasons for Howorth’s recusal.

“…public confusion or misunderstanding has an actual, genuine risk of impacting fairness at trial,” the document said.

According to the document, members of Clayton’s family “requested (or made demand) that the undersigned judge ‘get off this case.’”

Kinne is accused of shooting Clayton to death in the back of the head on May 19.

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Family members said Kinne was on duty as an Oxford police officer at the time of the incident, and that it was domestic related. He was fired from his position Tuesday night prior to his court appearance.

To read the full document regarding the judge's recusal, click here.

Background info:

According to Dominique Clayton’s sister Shyjuan, Clayton and Michael Kinne were involved in an affair, and the incident stemmed from a “domestic situation.”

Friends told FOX13 Dominique Clayton was shot in the back of the head during a domestic situation.

PREVIOUS STORY: Boy finds mother shot to death inside family home, police officer charged with murder

Her eight-year-old son found her after being dropped off at the house by a family member on Sunday.

Interim Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen said the department learned on Sunday that Matthew Paul Kinne -- an Oxford police officer -- was possibly "involved" with Clayton. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation took over the case, and Kinne was developed as a suspect.

The victim, Dominique Lashelle Clayton, was home alone Saturday because her four children were spending the night with their uncle.

When they came home on Sunday, her eight-year-old son went inside with hopes of luring his mother out for a prank. He came back outside alone and told his family she was dead.

Officials told FOX13 Dominique was shot in the back of the head. Family said she was sleeping when she was murdered.

Kinne was booked into the Panola County Jail, where he currently awaits a bond hearing.