OMAHA, Nebraska — A judge's finding that a man convicted of killing four people in Omaha is not mentally fit enough for sentencing means the scheduled hearing next month for Nikko Jenkins will likely be delayed.
Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon ruled Friday in the case of Nikko Jenkins, 27, who has been awaiting sentencing for the August 2013 shotgun deaths of four people in three separate attacks.
The judge's ruling was based on testimony from psychiatrists in a hearing earlier this month. A defense psychiatrist testified that Jenkins suffers from schizophrenia and perhaps a bipolar disorder. A prosecution psychiatrist said Jenkins acts out and is lying about his mental state.
Bataillon's decision does not keep Jenkins from facing the death penalty, which prosecutors are seeking, The Omaha World-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/WqDsvl ). But it will likely delay the sentencing, which had been scheduled for Aug. 11.
Another hearing has been set for July 29 to discuss a plan to restore Jenkins' mental competency.
The judge's decision Friday stood in contrast to his ruling five months ago that Jenkins was competent to stand trial and could serve as his own attorney.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said he was surprised at the judge's ruling, but confident that the death penalty hearing will eventually happen.
Jenkins pleaded no contest in April and was convicted in the shooting deaths of Juan Uribe-Pena, Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger over a 10-day period after his release from prison last July.
Prosecutors say Jenkins planned the killings to cover up robberies of the victims or to keep them from identifying him. Jenkins insists that he doesn't remember the killings, but says an Egyptian god named Ahpophis ordered him in a foreign language to kill the four as human sacrifices.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com