Fort Smith Machete Murderer Gets 70-Year Prison Sentence

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) –A Sebastian County jury on Thursday night sentenced Gregory A. Kinsey, 21, to 70 years in prison for the deaths of Brandon Prince and Nathan Young.

Kinsey was convicted Wednesday night of first-degree murder and second-degree murder after hacking Prince and Young to death with a machete last year.

He was sentenced to 40 years for the first-degree murder charge and 30 years for the second-degree murder charge. The sentences will be served consecutively, officials said.

5NEWS spoke to the Brandon Prince's family and a family friend of Kinsey after sentencing.

"We wanted life, but yeah, we do feel justice," Misty Smith, Prince's sister-in-law, said.

"He should have got manslaughter because it was it was self defense that went too far," said Arthur Williams, a friend of Kinsey's family.

The sentencing portion of Kinsey's trial began Thursday morning. Prosecutors called five witnesses, including family members of Nathan Young and Brandon Prince, the two men Kinsey killed with a machete in June 2013. Defense attorneys called a dozen witnesses on Kinsey's behalf, including his father and three of his siblings.

The court proceedings ended Thursday (Nov. 13) afternoon, and the jury began deliberating the sentence just after 3 p.m.

Kinsey's mother was called to the stand twice, but she could not be located. A family friend told 5NEWS she did not show up because she was too distraught.

The defense also called law enforcement officers as witnesses. They testified Kinsey grew up in a stressful home, where police were often called to deal with disturbances stemming from his mother and father.

The jury's guilty verdict Wednesday night came after three days of court proceedings and hours of deliberation by the jury. Jurors, though, declined to find Kinsey guilty of the heavier charge of capital murder.

The prosecution and defense presented closing arguments Wednesday afternoon in Fort Smith and turned the case over to 12 jurors, comprised of seven women and five men. Wednesday’s portion of the trial began with the defense calling three witnesses to the stand, including two eyewitnesses from the night of the incident and a “fight or flight” expert.

An eyewitness who said he saw the prelude to the altercation said Young, Prince and Nathan Maynard first approached Kinsey in the alley and spread out in a “half moon”.

Dennis Miles, who was out looking for his loose dog, said two of the men then started moving toward Kinsey and Kinsey started backing up. Miles said he did not see the actual fight that then ensued and led to the deaths of Prince and Young.

Maynard was injured in the fight, but survived. He testified earlier this week that it was Kinsey who approached the three men and said, “I am Satan,” before the fight.

The trial began Monday in Sebastian County Circuit Court with opening arguments and witnesses for the prosecution. Prosecutors called their last witnesses Tuesday and rested before the defense called its witnesses and rested Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors said Kinsey meant to kill the two men, while the defense attorney said the suspect was only acting in self-defense against three drunk men who were being aggressive with him.

Tuesday’s proceedings ended shortly after the testimony of Cole Prince, the teenage son of one of the victims.

Prince, 16, recounted for jurors the night of the killing, saying he held his father in his arms as he died.

Cole Prince said his father Brandon Prince went to the store the night of June 26, 2013, returned to the house and went outside to smoke a cigarette. Cole Prince then heard his father scream and went outside to find Brandon Prince with machete wounds to his shoulder and hand.

Cole Prince testified he heard suspect Gregory Kinsey then say, “I shouldn’t have done this.”

Prince ran to get a towel for his father and held him in his arms until he died, the son testified.

A medical examiner on Monday testified blood tests showed Prince had a .22 blood-alcohol level at the time of his death, while Young’s blood-alcohol level was .10.

Authorities found Prince and Young dead from extensive cuts outside a duplex on North D Street near downtown Fort Smith. Investigators said Kinsey killed both of them with a machete he was carrying at the time of his arrest. During his investigation, Kinsey told authorities he was walking home from the Dollar Store when he was approached by the group of three men who became argumentative.

Kinsey told police he attacked Prince and Young after he told them to back off and felt they wouldn’t let him go. Kinsey has been behind bars, without bond, at the Sebastian County Detention Center since his arrest that night.

The trial comes after several resets in the case so that both sides could properly prepare. Authorities released surveillance video last year showing Kinsey at a nearby Dollar General buying paper towels, soda and tea bags the night of the incident. Moments later, police said he and two men fought in an alley near the store.

911 calls at the time indicate that the confrontation had turned violent.

911: “Where’s your emergency?”

Caller: “I need an ambulance at 1618 North D like right now, I don’t know what just happened someone is bleeding to death.”

The 911 call continues, as a frantic neighbor describes the scene and comforts screaming children in the background.

Police found the bloody Dollar General bags inside Kinsey’s home, according to court documents. They also seized several knives from his home.

According to the medical examiner, Young’s cause of death was “multiple chop wounds,” while Prince sustained “injury to axillary artery due to chop wound of left arm.”

Video was also released of Kinsey interviewing with police after his arrest.  In the video Kinsey offered his account of what happened, telling officers, “He (Nathan) asked me why I was creeping around in the shadows like that. I became angry. I tossed my bags and yelled and told him, ‘Please, I don’t want to go to prison today.’”

Kinsey told police he had a clear mind at the time of the attack and once it began he described feeling like he was watching a movie.

“I remember he tried to flee, but I don’t think I registered it at the time. I pursued him. I kept trying… I wasn’t trying to kill him. I was trying to incapacitate him. It’s just once I started swinging, I just kept swinging,” said Kinsey to police.

Judge Stephen Tabor issued what attorneys called a “partial gag order” in the case.  The order blocked some photos from being released, including two photos of Young and Prince taken at the crime scene as well as photos from inside Kinsey’s home.

Two videos from Kinsey’s cell phone were also blocked from being released.

Before the gag order was issued, though, photographs were released showing the inside of Kinsey’s apartment, where walls were smeared with a red substance, showing finger-marks and handprints. (See those images accompanying this story)

 

68 comments

  • 5 NEWS IS SCARED

    LOOK AT THIS YELLOW JOURNALISM. 5 NEWS IS RESORTING TO SUPERMARKET TABLOID BEHAVIOR. just proof that all of the conspiracy theorist are correct about the mass media. if 5 news were a newspaper I wouldn’t even allow my dog to defile himself by squatting over it. This person was attacked by three drunks several times and the police done nothing. He begin carrying something to protect himself. He was attacked again and defended himself.

    • 5 NEWS IS SCARED

      The pictures of his apartment and the attempts to evoke sympathy by this garbage news station are completely irrelevant to the facts of this case. Thank goodness that there are laws in place to prevent the jurors from seeing things like this. If he is found guilty l will personally donate to his defense fund. His personality is not on trial here.

    • Bridget

      If three drunks approached me in a dark alley I would be looking for an equalizer too. Headlines have grossly overstated “machete killing”. Good grief anything 12 inches and over is a machete. Get real news media. I wish I was a juror just so I could say “not guilty”. As the result of three drunks, (one of which has a prison record for domestic violence), a man defending himself is considered a brutal killer. Wonder if that was brought up in trial????????

    • unbelievable

      This entire case has been manipulated by the media, police and especially our prosecuting attorney. Notice we have not see a picture of him other than the night they arrested him with his dusty clothes on. You always see a picture of people after they are cleaned up. This case was manipulated from the very beginning and these so called lawyers should be brought up on charges. In all of my years I have never seen a local case that was manipulated like this one. If they could no provide a picture on him with clean clothes on the judge should have issued a gag order and stopped the media from showing those pictures.

  • bonreal

    I wish SWTR would print the Group of Three tried to “ROB HIM SO HE DEFENDED HIMSLF” after he told them to back off… They were DRUNK and thought since there 3 of Us an only 1 of You We’re going to Rob You.. But They Bit off more than They could chew… I’m will to bet Mr. Kinsey was talking to Himself while he was walking back home.. People with Schizophrenia Bipolar condition you don’t want to tango with…

  • Justice!!!

    He was carrying a machete for Pete sake. How many people do you know who carries machetes around on the streets of Fort Smith? Or anywhere? I think this guy was looking for something or someone to hack to pieces. He got what he deserves! Get over it! One more weirdo off the streets!

    • Fred

      This state is full of folks who carry knives and guns on them at all times. Why is a machete suddenly “out there”? Also this was on the northside of downtown. The dude didn’t have a car or anything I personally would not walk those streets without a weapon myself. But I’ll bet if this guy was clean cut and defended himself with a hunting knife, then everybody would be rallying behind him. Also, “Justice” , most people don’t roam the streets looking to murder someone while carrying groceries. The victims have a history of being bullies and all-around scumbags.

    • atc8824

      Well everybody is against guns so I guess now they do not want people to defend themselves with anything.Maybe if people would not GET DRUNK and attack people in an alley this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

    • unbelievable

      He probably did not have access to a gun so that was his only way to defend himself. I would be if he had a gun and pulled it and shot them we would not be having this discussion right now because they would not have charged him. It was the fact that it was “the machete murder” . Our prosecutor should be ashamed for charging this man with capital murder and trying to have him put to death.

    • Velda

      This was self defense. Not that I like the “killer”, but he didn’t go out to kill someone. The three drunks came up to him as he was simply walking home from the Dollar Store
      This was not premeditated and in no way was murder.
      I’d of said not guilty and I’m a Christian Conservative and do not like the looks of the ” killer” one bit, but murder, I don’t think so. You still have a right to defend yourself, well apparently not.

  • bobreal

    I know Jurors aren’t suppose to already made up their mind on a Verdict; But I already made up my mind after I heard Those Three Attacked Mr. Kinsey an all he did was defend himself…. I hope next Year or in two years Mr. Kinsey can have a Retrial and This time it will be FAIR…

  • Justice??

    Yes he killed them and he was convicted of murder. Fair enough! But what to take away from this is that two dumb drunks messed with that wrong guy who should have been left alone! So please drink and stay on your side of the street

  • THE "REAL" ELAPHAS

    Did yall read the entire article? Did you read this? “I remember he tried to flee, but I don’t think I registered it at the time. I pursued him. I kept trying… I wasn’t trying to kill him. I was trying to incapacitate him. It’s just once I started swinging, I just kept swinging,” said Kinsey to police. That does not sound like someone trying to defend himself.

  • Get Real

    ‘ve never seen such foolishness. When did it become ok to kill someone because they are drunk. And BTW you can’t claim self defense when you chase someone down that is fleeing.

    • Rightsaidfred

      When did it become okay for 3 drunk bullies to surround this man who was walking home with a sack of groceries???

      • u think

        Maybe he shoulda stayed out of their yard !! But he was looking down the alley cause he thought he saw one of his moms exs , so was he going to do the same to him?

  • Anthony

    I personally know the Kinsey family and have since I was 12, Erin Kinsey was defending him self he wasn’t out looking for trouble , I know for a fact he wouldn’t of done it if he didn’t feel threatened, SELF DEFENSE

  • can't believe guilty

    On march 12, 2014 John Howard III was charged with 2nd degree battery for attacking Timothy Riley with a machete. They both had been drinking, Riley started the fight, Howard chased Riley down and cut him with the machete. Why are the charges so different for Kinsey?

    • unbelievable

      They are different for one reason because Kinsey is DIFFERENT. If he had been a clean cut run of the mill Joe he would have never been charged like this. He has been picked on all of his life because he did not fit into what everyone else call “normal”.

  • Get Real

    “I remember he tried to flee, but I don’t think I registered it at the time. I pursued him.” THAT IS NOT SELF DEFENSE. READ THE LAW. If you are they retreat, you cannot use deadly force. YOU CANNOT CHASE SOMEONE DOWN and then claim self defense. It doesn’t matter if they were drunk if they fled. His own words says they did.

  • Rocky

    All the jurors wanted was FREE PIZZA before they made a decision. I would like to know who these idiots are who railroaded this kid who has problems. These guys bullied him and that’s all there is to it. What a joke of a justice system and police in this area. Hanging out on a porch getting drunk with ur kids around, real responsible law abiding citizens.

  • bobreal

    Reading these commits Looks like most of them would of found Mr. Kinsey INNOCENT if they could of been on the Jury.. I know I would of FOUND HIM INNOCENT..

  • Honey Badger

    I’m reading a lot of valid opinions on both sides here but one point has thus far been overlooked. We were not in the courtroom to see or hear the evidence presented and I think we all agree that media reports are fallible. The fact is that regardless of our thoughts on this case a jury of 12 people all decided that he was not justified in his actions. Even if you think that the jury was wrong remember that we are talking about a dozen people all agreeing on one issue. If even one juror had thought he was justified then he would be a free man today.

    • Taylor

      “I’m reading a lot of valid opinions on both sides here”
      You and I must be reading different comment sections. All I’m reading are people who have no idea what actually happened treating speculation as fact.

      • Honey Badger

        Well, you know what I mean. Some people say it was self defense while others say he went looking for trouble but you’re right about the speculation. None of us were there and even if we had been we still might not know the whole truth. The jury may or may not have made the right decision but they certainly had more to go on than any of us. I really wonder sometimes about how people can be so adamant with their opinions when they really know very little facts about an issue. Myself included.

    • stupid jurors

      12 people on Jury duty wrongfully convict people all the time. Do you not read or watch the news? Jurors are sheep. They tend to go along with the majority.

      • Honey Badger

        You mean the majority represented on this site? The majority of the comments here say he was defending himself. I don’t believe they followed 5news viewers. Sure there may have been some sheep on the jury but probably not 12. Did the defense not get a chance to disqualify jurors during the selection process?

  • really?

    So being drunk is an excuse to die right? One would think then the sober person would have been able to think more clearly. Self defense? more like over kill!! He lied about not having a knife because the blade was broken..they got several from his home. Just because someone had a rough childhood sounds like another excuse..who’s childhood was all sparkles and sunshine? Many of you want to make excuses for this murderer..bad childhood..misunderstood..blah blah blah..what about the poor boy who will forever have the vivid memory of his father bleeding to death in his arms?? What did he do to deserve that? How do you know that Kinsey wasn’t actually looking to kill his mother’s ex boyfriend? You don’t do you? He didn’t seem to bothered or shook up on those videotaped interviews..sounded like pure evil to me!! It’s a tragedy all the way around!! How many of you would be willing to take him home with you?? Exactly

  • bobreal

    Just remember walking back home with bags in Your hands YOU DO NOT have the right to Defend Yourself.. You are suppose to just drop Your bags and run..

    • HL

      bobreal, Everyone, including Kinsey, has the right to defend himself. You do NOT have a right to chase someone down, AFTER they run away, and chop them to death. What was stopping Kinsey from going his own way when those guys ran from him?

  • lynn

    De escalation the often discarded art of reducing violence by walking away rather than amping it up by jumping in with a weapon. Apparently most commentators here don’t drink alcohol either since there is so much judgment of the “drunk” victims. You don’t kill two people in “self
    defense” then run home and hide like a coward.

    • Velda

      I doubt Mr. Kinsey knew he actually “killed” the guys also I’m sure he was freaking out and couldn’t believe what just happened and was scared.

      He likely ran home to get away.

      No one likes this and the whole thing is rotten and everyone looses, but Mr. Kinsey didn’t just go out to “kill”. He had to throw his groceries down and likely he just used his last dollars to pay for them.

      If Mr. Kinsey was clean cut and had $$$$$ to buy great lawyers he’d of not been convicted.

      Also if he had shot the guys with a gun, vs this demonized ” big knife”, he of not been convicted.

      He likely carried the machete due to being poor white trash and probably a convected felon and couldn’t own, or afford a gun, or had been in trouble with the law and didn’t think he could get a gun.

      I don’t like Mr. Kinsey one bit. I don’t like his looks, etc, but I’d of said not guilty of murder.

  • Velda

    It is a sad day in America when you are found guilty of murder for defending yourself. This was not premeditated, nor did the “killer” even approach the group of drunk thugs.

    This case is a huge miscarriage of justice.

    The “murderer” even had to drop his bags of groceries down to the ground to defend himself.

    I have no doubt the the three thugs were likely going to rob and beat, maybe even kill Mr. Kinsey.

    Mr. Kinsey was convected based on his appearance and all the lies told about him. Sure I don’t like his looks and sure he is an odd ball creap that I wouldn’t want my grand kids around, but he didn’t cause this. He was protecting himself from the ruff streets in his neighborhood.

  • Robert

    Here is a case where one is bullied because of his looks/lifestyle and was finally sick of it. At 21, he had a “clean as a whistle” record, he is no murderer. Where are his witnesses? No one wants to believe someone of his sort. I know what it is like to be bullied. He wanted to be left alone. I am convinced that if he were the one killed, the other 3 would be excused. Well maybe at least the one that actually lived will think twice before he decides to bully someone. He said he told them to leave him alone, they decided not to. Nobody asked WHY? Why would he do this? I hope the bulling stops for Gregory. Sorry he didnt get a fair trial. Prison will just turn him into something he isnt, but that is just a different soapbox…

  • Steve Arnold

    If I did my math correctly he will serve about 12 years in prison before being released on parole in the state of Arkansas. 70 years sounds like a lengthy sentence. In reality a prisoner serves about 2 out of every 12 months on a prison sentence in prison. The rest of the time is served on parole. Arkansas is more or less a mandatory parole state. I believe the Board of Parole can deny parole in certain circumstances but typically only as a 1 year deferral or by requiring the prisoner to complete a program in prison prior to release. Otherwise if the prisoner is a Class I they automatically parole.

    • Bathroom Jesus

      Oh ok, well since it’s only 12 years of additional bullying and getting in his arse every night then I guess that’s okay!!!! Man I was worried for a while about the 70 year sentence, but 12 years, he can do that standing on his head! Not a bad sentence at all for defending yourself from a three against one fight!!!!

      • bob

        Ferguson MO cop with a gun a tazzer and pepper spray shots and kills a unarmed black teen with his hands up and claims self defense and will most likely walk a free man and yet this guy who was minding his own business and was confronted by 3 punks who would most likely robbed him of his money and items gets 70 years in the pen cause he defends his self and kills 2 of the punks. GTFOH it just shows how fuked the judicial system is in Mercia . People saying ole he didn’t have to hack them to death well when ur that pissed off and in fear of your life u kind of lose control of what your doing! Its just like offer Wilson didn’t have to shot that 18 yo 7 times but yet he did!

  • Gottalaugh

    When did this world become an insane asylum? The dude should have got the death penalty. The cop in Fergusen was doing his job. Right is still right, wrong is still wrong. Why is that so hard for people to see now days?

    • bob

      Umm last u checked this guy didn’t walk up to the drunks just to hack them to death. This guy was minding his own business when they messed with him. The Ferguson cop was not doing his job or he would just had arrested him instated of murdering the dude.

      • HL

        No, bob. This guy was not minding his own business. He went into one of the men’s back yard, and was looking around. The men then walked up to him and asked him, and the one man asked him why he was snooping around in his back yard. Kinsey was never touched by any of them men. He told the police, himself, he just felt they wouldn’t let him pass. He then proceeded to slash them. And when they ran away, instead of going his own way, he chased both of them down and finished chopping them to death. Maybe you think someone has the right to slash you to death with a knife, simply for asking them why they are in your backyard. But I don’t.

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