Bond Denied for Suspects in Kinney Murder

Samantha Morgan-Major
Samantha Morgan-Major
John Dykeman
John Dykeman

The suspects accused of torturing and murdering a physically challenged Beaufort man will remain in jail. A judge denied bond this morning. Three weeks ago, 34-year-old Brett Kinney went missing. Then a few days later, this missing persons case turned into a murder case.

Friends and family of Kinney came to show their support as a judge denied bond for 21-year-old Samantha Morgan-Major and 41-year-old John Dykeman in connection with Kinney's murder.

"The things she did to my brother are beyond contempt and she needs to pay for it, but I think putting on a show like she does isn't going to help her case," said Kinney's siter Connie Cormier.

The two are charged with murder, kidnapping and armed robbery after sheriff's deputies say they severely beat Kinney, stabbed him repeatedly, forced him into the truck of a vehicle and tortured him to get his ATM PIN. They then left his body in this wooded area near Still Shadow Drive in Burton.

It was a murder so brutal, the sheriff's department is asking for the death penalty. "The fact he was murdered in such a brutal way and beaten so badly people are unable to identify him has put a big strain on the family," said Cormier.

Kinney was physically handicapped and suffered brain damage from an accident when he was six years old. But he never gave up on life. In fact, he made it through three years of college, hoping to become a youth minister. But his physical handicaps prevented him from finishing.

In fact, he was just recovering from surgery when he turned up missing. "He was so helpless at the time of his death," said Cormier. "He could barely walk three steps, even with his cane, so he in no way could fight back."

One of the defendants in this case, Samantha Morgan-Major, did ask the judge to be moved to a mental health facility. There's no word on whether or not that will happen.

If you'd like to help Kinney's family, you can make donations to the Brett Kinney Fund any Palmetto State Bank or send donations to PO Box 219, Beaufort, SC 29901.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey,