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Police, prosecutors have limited access to Boise mass stabbing suspect pending evaluation

September 6, 2018

Until psychologists complete a mental health evaluation of the man accused of Boise’s mass stabbing in June, police and prosecutors will not be able to speak to him, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Timmy Kinner, 30, faces 13 criminal counts including first-degree murder and eight counts of aggravated battery in connection with the events of June 30, when police and prosecutors say he attacked residents of the Wylie Street Station Apartments with a knife, near the intersection of State Street and Wylie Lane. Nine people — all refugees — were injured in the attack, including six children. One of them, Ruya Kadir, 3, later died of her injuries.

Police arrested Kinner at gunpoint not long after the attack, and he has remained in the Ada County Jail since then. Last month, a grand jury indicted him on the charges, which means there is enough evidence for the case to move forward. His two-month trial is scheduled for January.

He appeared in court Wednesday as a result of a July incident during which prosecutors say he asked to speak with police about his case. According to court documents, Kinner passed a note — known in jail slang as a “kite” — to a social worker in the jail asking to speak to an “investigator” about his case. Detectives arrived at the jail, as did David Smethers, one of Kinner’s attorneys. Ultimately, Kinner declined to talk with officers that evening.

In subsequent court documents, though, Smethers voiced concerns about Kinner’s mental health. Anyone accused of a crime has a right to invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, and their Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, but, Smethers wrote, it is possible Kinner is mentally ill, and thus unable to understand those rights — or the implications of waiving them. Because of that, Smethers asked the judge to order police and prosecutors not talk to Kinner without a defense attorney present

Fourth District Court Judge Nancy Baskin on Wednesday granted that request. Per Smethers’ wishes, she ordered Kinner to undergo a mental health evaluation. Based on the results of that evaluation, she would then determine if Kinner is competent to waive his rights and speak to police and prosecutors alone.

Smethers also asked to receive any “kites” Kinner sent jail staff in the future, but Baskins denied that request. Written requests from inmates are a routine part of life in the jail, she said, and there was no reason for Kinner’s attorneys to receive notification every time he penned one, because many of them have nothing to do with the facts of a case.

Kinner remains in custody without bail, since a judge denied to issue it in July, just after his arrest. Smethers had planned to discuss bail for Kinner during Wednesday’s hearing, but then told Baskin he’d decided against arguing the matter that day.

Kinner — and the attorneys involved in his case — will return to court before Baskin after psychologists have completed their evaluation.

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