A tentative trial date has been scheduled in the case of a local man, charged with murder involving the alleged strangulation death of his estranged wife in February.
Matthew Kenton Pride has pleaded not guilty in connection with the death of Nicole Kennedy-Pride.
During a Wednesday morning hearing in the 196th District Court. Judge Andrew Bench set the trial for Dec. 16.
The indictment filed April 26 by a Hunt County grand jury, alleged Pride caused the death of Nicole Kennedy-Pride “by impeding the breathing of Nicole Pride, by applying pressure to Nicole Pride’s throat or neck.”
The defendant remains in custody at the Hunt County Detention Center, being held in lieu of $1 million bond on the murder charge.
He was inside Kennedy-Pride’s Greenville residence when she was found deceased on the morning of February 15.
Greenville Police Department officers were dispatched shortly before 9 a.m. that day to an alarm call at Kennedy-Pride’s business, Shear Pride Suites and Spa.
Employees said they were attempting to contact her at the home in the 5600 block of Stonewall Street, at which time officers were dispatched to the location, where they found Matthew Pride inside.
Pride was said to be disoriented, had a blank stare on his face and did not answer questions. Pride was taken into custody after it was determined he had an active protective order against him forbidding him from being at or near the residence.
The report indicated Matthew Pride needed help getting into a police vehicle and could not lift his legs or his body without assistance, later admitting he had been drinking alcohol.
An ambulance crew called to the residence found Kennedy-Pride in her bed, where she had been deceased for some time.
Surveillance footage and information obtained from Kennedy-Pride’s cell phone and smart watch revealed she left a local restaurant at approximately 10 p.m. February 14 and returned home a few minutes later.
Data from the smart watch showed Kennedy-Pride performed no activity after her return home and the watch did not detect a heartbeat after approximately 10:05 p.m.
Pride was released February 17 on a $25,000 bond on the violation of a protective order.
On March 1, investigators received an update from the Southwestern Institute on Forensic Sciences at Dallas, which listed homicide by strangulation as the cause of Nicole-Pride’s death.
Pride, 37, was taken into custody on the murder charge at around 3 p.m. March 4 in the 500 block of Mink Drive.
Murder is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.