A clash over stab­bing sus­pect’s com­pe­tence

The Idaho Statesman - - Front Page - BY KATY MOELLER [email protected]­hostates­man.com

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.

Timmy Kin­ner

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