Timmy Earl Kinner, the suspect in a mass stabbing at a birthday party that left a 3-year-old girl dead and eight others wounded last year, has been found mentally competent to stand trial.
Idaho District Court Judge Nancy Baskin issued the order Friday, saying Kinner “has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding – and [that] he has a rational as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings against him.”
He had been housed in the medical unit at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Kuna, but he was transferred to Ada County Jail last week following Baskin’s order.
She found Kinner “dangerously mentally ill” earlier this year. The court has held many hearings ever since to figure out whether his mental condition had improved enough for him to stand trial.
Idaho is one of just four states where insanity can only be used as a partial defense. A case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court is challenging those laws.
Nearly a year ago, Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts announced her office would seek the death penalty in the case.
Kinner’s public defenders say they’re unable to comment on pending litigation and also cited a gag order Baskin handed down earlier this year that bars any potential witness from discussing the case.
He faces more than a dozen felony charges, including first-degree murder, aggravated assault and burglary. Kinner’s public defenders entered not guilty pleas for him on all counts.
Police say the homeless man with a long and violent criminal record, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, had been staying at an apartment complex on Wylie Lane in northwest Boise.
He was kicked out after a few days, but quickly returned to slash his way through a child’s birthday party in June 2018, according to law enforcement.
3-year-old Ruya Kadir, the birthday girl dressed as her own version of a Disney princess in a white and black beaded dress and a feathered crown, later died from her wounds at a Utah hospital.
Eight others who had gathered for what was supposed to be a joyous occasion left the party in ambulances or were taken to the hospital in private cars. All were refugees who had resettled in the Boise area.
The attack has rippled through the wider refugee community in the city, with fears still lingering more than a year later.
An eight-week trial for Kinner’s case is currently set for Jan. 13, 2020.
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