Man accused of murdering priest appears in court
Matthew John Reed appeared Monday in Orange County court on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of a Durham priest that has rocked the community.
Reed bowed his head slightly as he entered in handcuffs, and told Judge Lunsford Long that he understood the charges against him. Long told him a public defender will be named to represent him.
A probable-cause hearing was set for Aug. 25 in Orange County Superior Court. He remains in the Orange County Jail without bond.
Reed, 36, of 3243 Calumet Court in Raleigh, is accused of killing Kent Torrey Hinkson, a missing Anglican priest whose body was found late Saturday at Eno River State Park Park in Orange County. Charlie Peek, a park spokesman, said Reed led authorities to the body around midnight Sunday.
Authorities have not released the cause of death. Hinkson's body was sent to the Office of the State Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy.
Hinkson, 71, disappeared Aug. 4 when he left home to run errands about 3 p.m. Police found his car Wednesday in the parking lot of The Mews Apartments on Williamsburg Road near Hope Valley, about 4.5 miles from his home in the Woodcroft community in southern Durham.
He was a pastor for more than 40 years in Florida and had taught all over the world. He became a priest at All Saints Church on Farrington Road in Durham.
Hinkson was a volunteer minister at the church, where he led Bible studies and headed pastoral care for those who couldn't get to church. He also volunteered at Bennett Place, a state historic site in West Durham. Police found his cellphone near the site the night of Aug. 4.
Hinkson and his wife, Jeline, moved to Durham almost six years ago to be closer to his children and grandchildren. They would have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary Aug. 6.
"He was an amazing spouse, father and grandfather and a trusted mentor and friend to so many others," his wife wrote on a website. "We are devastated by the loss and the nature of this heinous act. We are hurting immensely."
Officials have not offered a motive for the killing and haven't said if Reed and Hinkson knew each other.
The SBI is the lead investigating agency because Hinkson's body was found on state property. The Durham Police Department in assisting.
Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said in an email Monday he couldn't disclose how Hinkson was killed "at this time." He declined to say if he intends to seek the death penalty.