Accused killer Nikko Jenkins is scheduled for trial beginning July 28. He is accused of murdering four people last summer. Motions in the case heard on Wednesday have been taken under advisement.
Jenkins is representing himself in the case and before the judge set trial, he listened to motions that, among other things, put Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine on the witness stand.
Jenkins wanted Kleine kicked off the state's case for prosecutorial misconduct after telling reporters in January about the state psychiatrist's opinion that deemed Jenkins competent to stand trial.
The morning was filled with interruptions and objections.
Jenkins: "[Kleine's] going to be impeached, he knows that."
Judge: "Mr. Jenkins, you don't get to argue. You ask the witness questions. You're not entitled to argue with witnesses."
Jenkins: "He understands the question. He doesn't want to answer it."
Judge: "You've gone over this ad nauseam. Anything you have that's new?"
At times the Wednesday hearings bordered on the ridiculous. Jenkins argued with witnesses calling the county attorney a liar.
The judge repeatedly interrupted trying to steer the ship back to course and bring the point of law to someone who is not a lawyer.
Jenkins arrived in court carrying new documents: paperwork the state had that he hadn't yet seen. He wants the court to throw out his confession to detectives.
After his arrest, Jenkins initially refused to answer detectives' questions in late August and asked for an attorney but just days later, from jail, he called Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. John Pankonin and wanted to talk. He waived his right to stay silent and the interview lasted for nine hours at Omaha Police headquarters.
Jenkins says he's mentally ill and that detectives took advantage of that to get him to confess.
He asked the Sgt Pankonin "...held me and gave me a hug like a father would nurture a child....why?
Pankonin said, “That's the type of person I am. You just confessed to four homicides and it took a lot out of you. You wanted a hug. I gave you a hug. You had the look of someone who just confessed to four homicides. Without a doubt, you understood what went on in the interview room."
Several Omaha detectives took the stand throughout the day. Jenkins wound up interrogating the very people who had arrested him and are prosecuting him, asking the same questions dozens of different times.
At one point the judge said, “You've gone over this ad nauseam. Anything you have that's new?
In the end, the judge refused to remove the county attorney from the case saying what he did in releasing the result of a doctor's evaluation was within his scope. As for whether the confession should be admitted at trial, Judge Bataillon will rule on that later.
Jenkins is accused of murdering Juan Uribe-Pena, Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he didn't receive proper mental health treatment while previously in prison.