Click here to read the judge's complete decision.
Posted February 20, 2014
Thursday, a Douglas County judge ruled accused serial killer Nikko Jenkins is competent to stand trial.
Douglas County Judge Peter Bataillon's decision follows a competency hearing last week. Ironically, an outburst from Jenkins at the start of the hearing is what tipped the scales toward the ruling.
The judge's opinion references Jenkins requesting a motion, insisting his Constitutional rights had been violated.
The judge points out Jenkins was also respectful after he was asked to wait to make his case after a decision on his competency.
"This was evidence of Defendant's ability to comprehend his rights, convey his reasons why he believed his rights had and were being violated, and to follow the request of the Court as to the timeliness of submitting his grievances," writes Bataillon.
The ruling was necessary due to disagreement between a state psychiatrist and a psychiatrist for the defense.
"I seriously question [Jenkins'] ability to meet stresses without his rationality or judgment breaking down," wrote Dr. Bruce Gutnik in a report, "I question whether he can decide upon a plea."
Based on what he read in Dr. Gutnik's paperwork, police/Corrections reports, and prior contact back in 2010, a state psychiatrist, Dr. Y. Scott Moore, said Jenkins is competent.
As for what happens next, remember that Jenkins wanted to plead guilty and get the case over with but then changed his mind and said he wanted the case dismissed.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said, "As the judge said at the competency hearing, he told the defendant that ‘I first have to determine if you are competent before we can proceed with other issues in the case.’ Now that this has been done, then those issues will be resolved also."
All of those motions can now move forward but trial is still months away.
Jenkins is accused of four killings over a 10 day period last summer. Doctors have evaluated him and their findings have been presented to the court.
Jenkins’ attorneys argue that their client is mentally ill and not competent to stand trial. The state argues that Jenkins is playing the system.
Jenkins is accused of killing Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena in Spring Lake Park, Curtis Bradford near 18th and Clark streets and Andrea Kruger near 168th and Fort shortly after being released from prison.
Where the criminal case goes from here will hinge on the judge’s decision regarding the defendant’s competency.