A Sebastian County judge pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges on behalf of Gregory Aaron Kinsey, 20, Wednesday (July 3).
Kinsey is accused of attacking two men with a machete in Fort Smith last week.
Judge James Cox ruled Kinsey will remain in the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center without bond and will be appointed a public defender.
Prosecutor Dan Shue says the next step is to decide if his office will seek the death penalty in the case. He says there are many factors to consider when coming to this decision.
“The fact is there’s some very, very stringent things that have to be examined with regard to mitigating circumstances, aggravating circumstances, the victim impact, defendant’s culpability, his involvement in the offense,” said Shue.
Shue said Kinsey is expected back in court in the next 30-90 days.
Nathan Young, 32, and Brandon Prince, 39, were stabbed to death, near the intersection of North 16th and North D Street in Fort Smith, just before 10 p.m. on June 26, according to a police report.
An eyewitness said he was on the front porch of the duplex having a beer with the two victims when Kinsey was seen walking in the alley next to the home with grocery bags in his hands.
According to court documents, Kinsey said he was walking back from the Dollar Store when he thought he saw a person who used to date his mother. While looking through a backyard, Kinsey said he was confronted by three people who wanted to know why he was there.
Kinsey and the victims exchanged words and Kinsey pulled out a machete to warn them, the documents state.
Kinsey told police he didn’t think the men would let him go so he started swinging the machete, striking two of them. The men backed away, but Kinsey told police he pursued them and hit one of them in the alley, according to court documents.
The eyewitness told police he struck Kinsey on the head with a wood board and Kinsey then fled from the scene.
Kinsey told police he had a “clear mind” and once the fight started “it was like he was watching a movie,” the affidavit for probable cause states.
Prince’s two children, 15, and 2, were inside the home at the time. A witness described the horror of seeing them scream for their father after the murders. The children were temporarily taken into DHS custody until their mother or another relative can be located.
The gruesome scene was described by police as something “out of a horror movie.”
Sgt. Daniel Grubbs with the Fort Smith Police Department said another witness said he knew Kinsey’s mother and eventually led officers to South 17th street where he was found in his mother’s garage-style apartment. Police say they also seized the machete believed to be used in the attack from that home.
Kinsey had no prior connection to the two victims and does not have a previous record, according to Sgt. Grubbs. When asked what caused the altercation to escalate into such a brutal attack Grubbs said, “You can’t explain evil behavior like that.”
According to Grubbs, another witness said he heard the suspect during the argument make mention of “Satan that’s within him.”