A clash over stabbing suspect’s competence
Ada County prosecutors got a judge to postpone the competency hearing for a man accused of stabbing nine people — including a 3-year-old who later died — after saying in court Thursday that they will challenge a psychiatrist’s finding that Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. is unfit to stand trial.
Deputy Prosecutor Dan Dinger said during a hearing that prosecutors have an expert they want to review the 300-400 pages of findings by a courtappointed psychologist and psychiatrist in Kinner’s case.
The evaluation by the two psychiatric experts has been sealed, so its contents are not available to the public. Fourth District Court Judge Nancy Baskin will make a decision after the competency hearing on whether Kinner should be committed to a state hospital for mental health treatment. Defense attorney David Smethers, an Ada County public defender, objected to any delay, saying the state should have been prepared for either finding: competent or incompetent. He said psychiatrists found Kinner incompetent to stand trial.
“It’s hard to prepare for that before you have the actual report,” Dinger said.
Kinner’s competency hearing had been scheduled for Dec. 13, but Baskin said Thursday that she would grant a short continuance, with the hearing taking place either Dec. 27 or Jan. 3. Court then went into recess so the details could be ironed out. Because some witnesses could appear in court on only one of those dates, Baskin said the hearing would be started on
Dec. 27 and concluded on Jan. 3.
Baskin has ordered the competency hearing closed to the public, other than stabbing victims, victim-witness coordinators and a police investigator.
Kinner is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ruya Kadir. He’s facing numerous other charges, including eight counts of aggravated assault, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Two weeks ago, Kinner’s attorneys asked Baskin to move the highprofile death penalty case from January 2019 to January 2020. It is now set to begin on Jan. 13, 2020.
Police investigators said Kinner went on a violent rampage at the Wylie Street Station Apartments on June 30 because he was kicked out by a woman who invited him to stay there as a guest.
The nine mass stabbing victims included six children, including 3-year-old Ruya, who was celebrating her birthday. She died two days after the stabbing. All of the victims were refugees from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia.
Kinner, a convicted felon who was homeless – with convictions in Utah and Tennesseee – had spent at least five years in and out of jails, and state and federal prisons, by the time he turned 30, according to previous Statesman reporting. His criminal record dates back more than a decade.
In February 2008, he was federally indicted in Tennessee for illegal possession of a semiautomatic handgun and distributing 12 grams or more of marijuana, according to court records. He eventually was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. In that case, a federal judge revoked his supervised release at least twice because he committed new crimes.
In November 2013, a Tennessee judge sentenced him to three years of probation for aggravated assault. But three months of his probation was revoked, and he served the rest of his sentence in prison. He was released in March 2015.
Once released, Kinner made it less than a year before he landed back in prison.