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Prosecution Rests In Machete Murder Case

FORT SMITH (KFSM) –The second day of the murder trial against a man accused of killing two others with a machete ended Tuesday afternoon with the prosecution re...
Gregory Aaron Kinsey
Prosecution Rests In Machete Murder Case

FORT SMITH (KFSM) –The second day of the murder trial against a man accused of killing two others with a machete ended Tuesday afternoon with the prosecution resting its case.

The capital murder trial of Gregory Aaron Kinsey is scheduled to continue Wednesday morning in Sebastian County Circuit Court with defense witnesses. Prosecutors called their last witnesses Tuesday before court was recessed for the day early in the afternoon.

Day two began with the testimony of the teenage son of one of the slain men. Cole 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.

Kinsey is charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Brandon Prince and Nathan Young. Prosecutor Dan Shue said he is seeking the death penalty in the case.

Attorneys for both sides delivered opening statements Monday morning, before the prosecution moved on to calling witnesses. A medical examiner 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.

A neighbor who said he witnessed the killing also testified and said Kinsey approached the men and told them, “I am Satan,” before the altercation.

Kinsey’s attorney said the suspect acted in self-defense during the incident, and he was provoked by Prince and Young, along with another man who survived the machete altercation.

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)