Crime

Idaho officials to pursue death penalty against man charged in Boise mass stabbing

Timmy Kinner appeared at a hearing Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. He 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 the June 30, 2018, attack on an immigrant family’s birthday party.
Timmy Kinner appeared at a hearing Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise. He 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 the June 30, 2018, attack on an immigrant family’s birthday party. doswald@idahostatesman.com

The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday that it will pursue the death penalty for Timmy Earl Kinner Jr., the man charged in a June stabbing rampage that left a 3-year-old girl dead and eight other refugees wounded.

“My office, including two senior deputy prosecutors, victim-witness coordinators, an investigator and staff are working closely with the Boise Police Department and their assigned detectives,” lead prosecutor Jan Bennetts said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we have concluded that pursuing the death penalty is appropriate in this case. It is important that we preserve the integrity of the case and let the criminal justice process take its course to ensure Mr. Kinner is afforded due process and receives a fair trial.”

The prosecutor’s office said it would make no additional comments on the decision. Kinner’s lead attorney is David Smethers with the Ada County Public Defenders Office. The office on Thursday said it had no comment on the decision.

Kinner is set to go to trial Jan. 3. His attorneys have raised concerns over his mental health in recent hearings, asking that he be committed to a state facility for treatment.

He has repeatedly refused to meet with a psychologist assigned to evaluate his health, according to officials. However, he has continued to write letters to prosecutors, sending three last week.

In August, Kinner chose to “stand silent” during a plea hearing. Fourth District Court Judge Nancy Baskin entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to all 13 of his charges: first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 3-year-old Ruya Kadir, eight counts of aggravated battery, one count of burglary for allegedly entering an apartment with the intent to commit aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault, and a deadly weapon enhancement.

In a July interview with the Statesman, Ruya Kadir’s mother, Bifituu Kadir, said she wants justice for her daughter.

“I want everybody to stand with me,” she said. “I want the prosecutor to seek the death penalty.”

Bifituu Kadir remembers her only child, 3-year-old daughter Ruya Kadir. She was among six children and three adults stabbed at her birthday party Saturday, June 30 and died the next day.

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