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Boise mass stabbing suspect not talking but keeps writing; judge will review 3 letters

In this Statesman file photo, Timmy Kinner appears at a hearing about his mental competency Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. Kinner is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 3-year-old girl, and eight counts of aggravated assault in connection with a June 30, 2018, attack at a refugee family’s birthday party.
In this Statesman file photo, Timmy Kinner appears at a hearing about his mental competency Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. Kinner is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 3-year-old girl, and eight counts of aggravated assault in connection with a June 30, 2018, attack at a refugee family’s birthday party. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. seems eager to communicate — but not with the psychologist assigned to evaluate his fitness to stand trial for allegedly stabbing nine Boise refugees in June, including a 3-year-old who later died.

Kinner has mailed two more letters to prosecutors, bringing the total to three, according to court records. He refused to meet with a psychologist twice this week.

Fourth District Court Judge Nancy Baskin has decided to review those letters — not yet seen by defense attorneys or prosecutors — to determine if they could be useful for the mental competency evaluation of Kinner.

At a hearing Thursday, defense attorneys again asked Baskin to commit Kinner to a state hospital for treatment and evaluation. But prosecutors told her that the 30-year-old homeless man has a history of manipulating this process in other states.

“We have a lot of records of a lot of prior incarcerations, and there is a lot of manipulation,” Deputy Prosecutor Dan Dinger told Baskin, according to a recording of the roughly 30-minute hearing.

In August, a grand jury indicted Kinner on more than a dozen charges, including first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Ruya Kadir and eight counts of aggravated battery in the alleged stabbing of eight others who suffered life-changing injuries.

David Smethers, Kinner’s lead attorney, asked for Baskin to seal the hearing after the deputy prosecutor’s comments about Kinner previously manipulating mental evaluation processes. She noted his objection but denied it.

Dinger said prosecutors had received information this week from the Federal Bureau of Prisons about a prior Kinner case. He said the report indicated that Kinner had said he would agree to a psych evaluation only if there was a female evaluator.

Baskin previously ordered that Kinner be taken out of his jail cell to a conference room to meet the psychologist doing the mental evaluation. That was not done this week, and Dinger said it might have been because jail staff were unsure if they could use whatever force necessary, such as carrying the defendant, to get him to the conference room.

The judge said that if Kinner won’t go voluntarily to the conference room, jail staff may use up to the same level of force that’s used to bring a defendant to a court appearance.

Baskin placed Kinner’s first letter to prosecutors in a court vault; she did not read it or allow anyone else to read it. On Thursday, she said she would read all three letters to determine if they would be useful in the psychologist’s evaluation of Kinner.

There is a psychiatrist based at the jail. Baskin said in court Thursday that defense counsel has indicated that Kinner hasn’t agreed to meet with that psychiatrist, or accept any medications.

At his hearing on Sept. 28, Baskin asked both sides to provide names and curriculum vitae for psychiatrists that they would recommend to assist in the mental evaluation of the defendant. Those recommendations were supposed to be submitted to the court by Oct. 5 but only prosecutors met that deadline.

“I just don’t understand why you’re not complying with the court’s orders on this case,” Baskin told Smethers.

She admonished him for not filing a motion for extension of time if they could not meet the deadline and said she’d hold them in contempt of court for future failures to comply with court orders.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413

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