Boise mass stabbing suspect approved for transfer to IMSI mental health unit

February 9, 2019

The director of the Idaho Department of Correction has approved the transfer of Boise’s mass stabbing suspect from the Ada County Jail to the Idaho Maximum Security Institute’s medical program, where doctors will treat him to restore him to competency for trial.

Timmy Kinner, Jr., 31, faces a list of felonies — including first-degree murder, in connection with a June 30 incident in which police and prosecutors say he stabbed nine people — six of them children — at an apartment complex in Boise. One girl, 3-year-old Ruya Kadir, died as a result of her injuries.

The order approving his transfer to the prison medical program, signed by Josh Tewalt, director of the Idaho Department of Correction, was filed Thursday.

The complex case’s progress through the court system was slowed by concerns for Kinner’s mental health, and his ability to understand the court proceedings. Multiple mental health professionals evaluated Kinner at the Ada County Jail and in December a psychiatrist opined he was not mentally competent to stand trial.

Legally, however, only a judge can make that determination, so in late December and early January, attorneys called witnesses and presented evidence in multiple hearings, all of which were closed to the public. At the end of those hearings, on Jan. 16, 4th District Court Judge Nancy Baskin declared Kinner unfit to stand trial.

Normally, when a person is declared legally incompetent, they are transferred to one of Idaho’s two state-run psychiatric hospitals. However, if the person is violent or poses security risks, the judge can also declare them “dangerously mentally ill” — and Baskin felt this was appropriate in the case of Kinner, who has a history of acting out at the Ada County Jail and making threats against jail staff.

In Idaho, those declared dangerously mentally ill can only be treated at a secure ward in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Kuna. That ward only holds nine beds, though, and the lack of space was why Kinner remained at the Ada County Jail for weeks after he’d been declared incompetent, according to Ammie Mabe, constituency liaison for the Idaho Department of Correction. There is no estimated wait time for a person to be transferred to the prison ward, Mabe wrote in an email to the Idaho Press; such cases depend largely on how much space is available at the time.

She added the nine beds in the ward are a fairly recent development — prior to that, there were only three, but an increased caseload prompted the department to add more.

Kinner’s initial commitment to the facility will last 90 days, after which Baskin has the option of extending it another 90 days if doctors do not feel he is fit to stand trial.

That trial is still set to begin in January 2020, although in court Kinner’s attorneys voiced concern about their lack of time to prepare their case, given Kinner will be committed for months, and unable to assist in his own defense.