Nikko Jenkins ruled competent to stand trial -
Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 4:17 pm
Nikko Jenkins ruled competent to stand trial

Nikko Jenkins is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Douglas County Judge Peter Bataillon refused to send Jenkins to the state's psychiatric hospital — saying Jenkins is aware of what's going on in the prosecution against him.

Jenkins, 27, is accused in the Aug. 11 slayings of Juan Uribe-­Pena and Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz; the Aug. 19 killing of Curtis Bradford; and the Aug. 21 slaying of Andrea Kruger.

Bataillon's ruling concerned only whether Jenkins could understand the court proceedings against him — it was not to determine whether he was sane or insane at the time of his alleged crimes.

Bataillon noted that Jenkins carried on a clear conversation with the judge throughout last week's competency hearing, and he noted that Jenkins was concerned that specific constitutional rights “were violated.”

“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(s) of the court,” the judge wrote.

Bataillon said a defense psychiatrist was concerned about Jenkins' ability to have rapport with his attorneys.

“However, this court finds that defendant has the ability to assist in his defense if he so desires,” Bataillon ruled.

Jenkins repeatedly has asserted that he is schizophrenic and hears commands from an Egyptian god he calls Opophis or Ahpophis. In the past couple of years, two doctors have declared him schizophrenic.

However, three other psychiatrists have suggested that Jenkins is feigning mental illness and using it to try to escape punishment.

On the competency issue, doctors were trying to decide whether Jenkins met a three-pronged test: that he understands the charges against him, that he understands the court process and that he is able to actively participate in his defense.

Two doctors differed. A psychiatrist hired by Jenkins, Dr. Bruce Gutnik, said he was incompetent in part because he thought Jenkins would be unable to have rapport with his attorneys. A state psychiatrist said Jenkins is not only competent but also is crafty.

Bataillon's decision came a day after Jenkins filed a federal lawsuit against the Nebraska prison system that housed him for 10 years before his release, blaming corrections officials for “4 killings.”

In the hand-written six-page lawsuit filed Wednesday — complete with exhibits and references to statutes and constitutional amendments — Jenkins claims that spending half of his prison time in solitary confinement resulted in suicide attempts and facial scars from self-mutilation.

“These state officials Failed to protect public Safety By not seeking the civil Committment oF A dangerous person oF mental illness,” Jenkins wrote. “Released After July 30th, 2013, Nikko Allen Jenkins confessed to Four 4 Killings murdering 4 omaha Nebraska citizens In Human Sacrifice to Ahpophis Egyptian WAR GOD.”

In addition to former corrections director Robert Houston, Jenkins names as defendants a warden, three state prison therapists, an assistant state ombudsman and State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha. Chambers and the ombudsman both tried to get Jenkins help or a commitment to a mental hospital before his release.

“I Am Seeking monetary damages in 24.5 million dollors $ As the four large Facial Wounds I Suffered Have deeply scared my Face For life yet the Emotional destress pain And Suffering is Also life long.”

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jenkins left a voicemail on a World-Herald reporter's phone — reading from pleadings in a complaint against Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

Beyond mispronouncing the word “interrogatory,” he capably asserted several allegations that he thinks should result in a finding that his rights were violated.

Kleine has said there is no merit in Jenkins' contention that Kleine improperly revealed that Jenkins had been ruled competent to stand trial in the case.

Jenkins seemingly has been stuck on asserting purported constitutional violations, even as his lawyers and a psychiatrist question whether he is competent to stand trial.

Last week, on the day of his competency hearing, Jenkins repeatedly interrupted the hearing to assert his claims that his rights were violated.

He also reportedly was on a phone call at the Douglas County Jail instructing a girlfriend on how to further arrange for hearings on the filings.

Timeline: 4 killings tied to Nikko Jenkins

Contact the writer: Todd Cooper    |   402-444-1275

Todd covers courts and legal issues for The World-Herald.

Sole big donor to Beau McCoy says he expects nothing in return
Firefighters battle brush fire near Fontenelle Forest
Omaha police investigate two shootings
Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close, still hoping to be saved
Omaha high schoolers to help canvass for Heartland 2050
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
Grant ensures that Sioux City can start building children's museum
Party looks to 'nudge' women into public office in Iowa
For birthday, Brownell-Talbot student opts to give, not get
Two taken to hospital after fire at Benson home
Grace: Pipe organ concert a tribute to couple's enduring love
Omaha-area jails and ERs new front line in battling mental illness
Convicted killer Nikko Jenkins might await his sentence in prison
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
Civil rights hearing to consider voting policies in Midwest
17 senators in Nebraska Legislature hit their (term) limits
It's a pursuit of pastel at Spring Lake Park's Easter egg hunt
Financial picture improving for city-owned Mid-America Center
No injuries after fire at midtown's old Mercer Mansion
29-year-old Omahan arrested for 22nd time in Lincoln
Police: Slaying of woman in Ralston apartment likely over drugs
Explosion near 29th, Woolworth damages vehicles
Omaha police arrest man, 19, accused in March shooting
Earth gets its day in the sun at Elmwood Park
Beau McCoy strikes Obama doll in TV ad; Democrats are not happy
< >
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
A World War II veteran from Omaha will return this week to Europe to commemorate a tragedy in the run-up to D-Day.
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »