Prosecutor to seek death penalty in machete slayings

Posted: August 23, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

FORT SMITH — An Arkansas prosecutor plans to seek the death penalty for a man accused of hacking two men to death with a machete.

Gregory Aaron Kinsey, 20, faces two counts of capital murder in the June 26 deaths of 39-year-old Brandon Prince and 32-year-old Nathan Young, both of Fort Smith.

Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Shue filed a letter Thursday outlining his plans to seek the death penalty against Kinsey, the Times Record reported.

Shue said factors that led to his decision included sufficient evidence linking Kinsey to the crimes and the seriousness of the offense.

"After consulting with law enforcement and the victim's families and considering the above-listed factors, the state of Arkansas will be seeking the death penalty during the anticipated trial of this matter," Shue wrote.

A video of Kinsey's interview with police following his arrest showed he remained calm as he described becoming angry at Prince and Young during an oral confrontation, pulling out the machete to scare but not hurt the men, feeling that "they weren't going to let me go" and then swinging the machete at them.

When a detective told Kinsey he didn't believe he didn't intend to kill Prince and Young, Kinsey said, "I told you what happened," adding he acted out of pure instinct.

Kinsey told authorities he only carried the machete because the blade of his knife broke and he hadn't bought a new one yet.

Four machetes — not including the one that was recovered from his mother's home — two 10-inch buck knives and a stainless-steel hunting knife were recovered from Kinsey's apartment, according to a police report.