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Boise mass stabbing suspect Timmy Kinner ruled competent for trial

Kinner had previously been held at a mental health facility at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.

BOISE, Idaho — The man accused of killing a 3-year-old girl and wounding eight others during a stabbing rampage at a Boise apartment complex has been ruled mentally fit to stand trial.

Timmy Earl Kinner Jr., 30, was moved back to the Ada County Jail on Sunday. Kinner had previously been held at a mental health facility at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.

Kinner, who was arrested immediately after the June 30, 2018 attacks at the Wylie Street Station Apartments, was previously found incompetent for trial. 

But in a memorandum filed Saturday, Judge Nancy Baskin wrote that "the Court finds that Defendant '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 factual understanding of the proceedings against him.'"

RELATED: Judge: Kinner 'not competent' to stand trial

Prosecutors say Kinner, who did not know any of his victims, attacked during the birthday party of 3-year-old Ruya Kadir. Ruya died from her injuries; five other children and three adults were hospitalized.

Investigators say the suspect targeted the girl's party at random. According to prosecutors, Kinner was angry at a woman who lived in the apartment complex and went to her home with a knife, seeking revenge. When he discovered that resident wasn't home, however, police say he turned his attention instead to the birthday party happening a few doors down.

Credit: Courtesy of Madia Mahtab
Ruya Kadir, 3, died two days after being stabbed at her birthday party in Boise.

Those at the party reported seeing Kinner plunge a large knife into small children and the adults who desperately tried to shield them. Several children locked themselves in a closet, where they dialed 911.

RELATED: Boise mass stabbing suspect wants to change name to 'Eternal Love'

Ruya, the most grievously wounded, was airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City, but did not survive. Other victims suffered serious injuries including punctured lungs, a lacerated liver, and slash wounds across the face.

The stabbing victims were all from Ethiopia, Iraq and Syria, but officials have said they do not believe Kinner was motivated by their status as refugees. 

Kinner was taken into custody at the scene, and the knife used in the attack was retrieved from a nearby canal.

RELATED: Prosecutors will seek death penalty in Boise mass stabbing case

He is charged with first-degree murder, eight counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault, burglary and use of a weapon in the commission of a felony. 

Prosecutors previously indicated they plan to seek the death penalty. 

But the case stalled after he was ruled incompetent for trial in December 2018. Defense attorneys for Kinner previously argued the defendant suffers from “mental conditions” that impair his decision-making skills and his ability to help his lawyers defend him. 

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB
Boise stabbing suspect Timmy Kinner sits next to his attorney in court Aug. 15, 2018.

Kinner displayed bizarre behavior after his arrest, yelling at a judge that he was the victim of "sabotage" at one hearing, and later seeking to legally change his name to 'Eternal Love.'

RELATED: 'Why you kill my baby?' Mother of slain 3-year-old erupts in court

Idaho does not have an "insanity defense," but does require that a defendant can understand what is happening in court and can assist his or her attorneys. Someone who does not meet those requirements is typically sent to either the state hospital or an Idaho Department of Correction facility for mental health treatment.

If the defendant reaches the point where evaluators believe the suspect's competency has been restored, the case moves forward to trial.

In Kinner's case, the defendant went through a series of sealed competency hearings before Baskin made her ruling Saturday.

The trial is set to begin in January 2020. 

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