A warrant released Wednesday suggests the man accused of murdering a retired Durham minister may have sought to blackmail him over a possible sexual encounter the night of the killing last month.
Matthew John Reed, 36, who lists his address as 3243 Calumet Court in Raleigh, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kent Torrey Hinkson of Durham.
State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Phillip Stevens served the warrant Wednesday for a sample of Reed’s DNA.
According to the warrant, Reed only met Hinkson, 71, about two hours before the Aug. 4 homicide. Reed led police to Hinkson’s body Aug. 10 in Eno River State Park, near the intersection of U.S. 70 and Interstate 85 in Orange County.
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Hinkson had gone out to run errands Aug. 4, but he did not return as planned for a dinner party. Durham police got a call from a resident two days later who reported seeing Hinkson’s red 2011 Hyundai Sonata at the Mews Apartments on Williamsburg Road.
Investigators found a “reddish-colored substance that appeared to be blood” in the car, the warrant states.
Investigators got a call Aug. 7 from Reed’s brother-in-law, Mark Hynes, who is a police officer in Pennsylvania. Hynes told Stevens that Reed had told his mother he’d killed someone, the warrant states. The crime involved “sex, money, and a person with a prominent position in the community,” it states.
Over the next few days, investigators spoke again with Hynes and with Reed’s mother, Lori McCabe, who lives in Ohio.
According to the warrant, McCabe told investigators that Reed said he was sorry for Hinkson’s death but was not going to turn himself in and was headed back to Ohio. Investigators then talked with Hynes, who said Reed had told him that he had been taking methamphetamines and had attempted to blackmail a prominent preacher he had met, the warrant states.
“Hynes explained that Reed had told the preacher that he wanted money or he was going to tell the preacher’s wife about their meeting. Hynes said that Reed admitted to killing the preacher with his own two hands,” Stevens said.
Investigators talked with Reed, who had fled to Greensboro, by phone later that evening, the warrant states. Reed offered to show them where he had left Hinkson’s body in Eno River State Park, it states, and investigators arranged to pick him up at a McDonald’s restaurant in Greensboro.
“During this call, Reed cried and said that he had taken a life,” Stevens said in the warrant. “Reed said that God would not forgive him for what he had done. Reed said that he was cold, hungry, and was ready to turn himself in to police.”
Police did not arrest Reed, but he started to tell them what happened on the way back to Durham, Stevens said. Reed met Hinkson at a McDonald’s in Durham and they drove around town before going to the park, he told police. Reed said he later left the park in Hinkson’s vehicle, dumped it on Williamsburg Road and left Hinkson’s car keys and personal belongings in a nearby storm drain.
Hinkson was partially decomposed when Reed took officers to the site, the warrant states. He was found with his pants around his ankles and appeared to have a belt around his neck, it states. Investigators reported collecting multiple pieces of evidence from the scene.
Hinkson’s family said the father of three and grandfather of eight was a pastor at Presbyterian churches in Texas, California and Florida. In Durham, he volunteered at All Saints Church, where he led Bible studies and helped provide pastoral care to shut-ins.
Reed’s next scheduled court appearance is Sept. 26 in Orange County Superior Criminal Court.