Judge Peter Bataillon has rejected a No Contest plea from Nikko Jenkins. He said he would accept a guilty plea but not one of No Contest. Trial has been set for July 28.
In a hearing Tuesday morning, Jenkins had said he wanted to change his plea to No Contest.
The judge told Jenkins to consult with his advisory counsel, and then continued the hearing to 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. Remember, Jenkins is representing himself in the quadruple murder case. His advisory counsel is a representative from the public defender's office.
This is the same man who had filed paperwork months ago to plead guilty and then later, reversed course, and asked for the charges to be dismissed.
Jenkins said his reasons for the No Contest change today were that he was tired of the false and illegal evidence against him and didn't want any of it on the record.
"I'm utilizing the same dirty tactics that prosecutors are using," Jenkins said.
"I have not seen any dirty tactics," said Judge Bataillon. "I have a concern now if you are competent."
Jenkins laughed at that and turned to the Millard West Law Studies class that was observing the case, "Oh my Gosh!"
The judge told him to be quiet -- and to quit interrupting.
"If you want to plead No Contest, you have the right to do that," said the judge.
As he left court, Jenkins howled several times in the hallway.
The same judge has already deemed Jenkins competent to stand trial.
When Jenkins returned to the courtroom after the break, he told his attorney, "This is over with. I'm going to plead No Contest."
He spoke loudly, saying he wanted the media to hear him. "I have nothing to hide," he said.
Judge Bataillon said he rejected the No Contest plea because it's a death penalty case.
Courthouse observers have called the case a circus.
"Certainly it's frustrating,” said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine. “This is very serious. We have four people who have lost their lives. We want to keep this case moving. This shouldn't be a circus atmosphere. But because of his actions, it's certainly creating some of that. So it's unfortunate."
The judge even wondered aloud whether Jenkins should continue to act as his own attorney.
At one point, Jenkins turned to WOWT’s Brian Mastre saying he wanted to ask “John Mastre” something about his competency hearing. The judge told Jenkins he doesn't get to do that.
While Jenkins has been deemed competent to stand trial, the judge said he may have to appoint at attorney if these antics keep up.