BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 3-year-old Idaho girl who was stabbed at her birthday party died Monday, two days after a man invaded the celebration and attacked nine people with a knife, authorities said.
Timmy Kinner is accused of stabbing a group of children and the adults who tried to protect them at the party at an apartment complex that is home to many refugee families.
Word of the child’s death came at Kinner’s first court appearance, where Ada County Magistrate Judge Russell Comstock told him that he was charged with first-degree murder and other felonies in connection with the Saturday night attack.
Comstock told Kinner he was “an extreme danger to the community” and ordered him held without bond.
According to court documents, Kinner had been arrested April 16 in St. George and charged with misdemeanor theft after a man reported that Kinner had stolen his wallet, which contained $700.
The man said Kinner had told him he was staying at Switchpoint. Based on the description the man provided, police were able to identify Kinner through Switchpoint.
After pleading no contest to the charge, he was sentenced to 364 days in jail, but the sentence was stayed and he was placed on probation for 18 months, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $700 in restitution. He was released April 19.
Kinner is American, and the victims are members of refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. Boise Police Chief William Bones said the evidence does not suggest the attack was a hate crime.
The suspect had recently stayed at the apartment complex but was asked to leave Friday over bad behavior, Bones said.
The 30-year-old appeared in court through closed-circuit video, a common practice for first appearances in Idaho. Wearing a tattered, off-white sweatshirt with his arms shackled to his waist, Kinner told the judge he didn’t understand the charges or proceedings. He also said he wanted to represent himself.
The judge ordered that he be appointed a public defender anyway.
“I can’t explain the charges any more clearly than I just did,” he told Kinner.
Three of the stabbing victims were adults, the others children: the 3-year-old girl who died, two 4-year-olds, a 6-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old.
If convicted, Kinner could be eligible for execution under Idaho law. Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts said her office has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty, saying those “high-level decisions” are made only after all the facts are in.
Monday evening hundreds of people turned out at a vigil honoring members of refugee families targeted in the stabbing.
The gathering was held at City Hall and featured more than a dozen baskets filled with white flowers. A speaker asked for a moment of prayer.
Written by REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press
St. George News contributed to this report.
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