BOISE — After five hours of emotional testimony and a tense court hearing Thursday — which included a victim’s mother needing to be restrained — the man who killed a child at her birthday party in Boise as part of a stabbing rampage learned his fate.
Nearly three years after he stabbed nine people and killed 3-year-old Ruya Kadir, Timmy Kinner Jr. was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, as a judge handed down two consecutive life sentences for murder and aggravated battery.
For other crimes related to the June 2018 mayhem, 4th District Judge Nancy Baskin handed down sentences totaling 120 additional years in prison, where Kinner will spend the rest of his life.
Numerous victims addressed the court and detailed the horror of what they survived, as well as the trauma that’s likely to plague them forever.
Bifituu Kadir, Ruya’s mother, addressed the court through a translator and choked up as she spoke, tears in her eyes. She questioned what would cause someone to kill a small child. Kadir said that she will outlive Kinner, and when he is buried, she will spit on his grave.
“I wish he killed me instead,” she said.
Prosecutors played a 911 call placed by a then-8-year-old child, who phoned after he was stabbed by Kinner. The child tried to warn others before calling police.
“I’m hurt in my belly, he stabbed me,” the child said to a 911 dispatcher.
Prosecutor Dan Dinger called Kinner’s rampage one of the “most violent crimes this community has ever seen.” He said children who survived that summer night have lasting trauma that includes the fear of even going to the bathroom safely.
Kinner, 33, was dressed in a white polo shirt with dark pants and a rosary around his neck as he entered the Ada County courtroom Thursday morning. Near the end of the hearing, he addressed the court, something he said he’s looked forward to doing. He repeatedly said that he never meant to hurt people.
“I hate that this situation occurred,” Kinner said. “I’m so sorry for the pain I’ve caused.”
While prosecutors were describing his brutal stabbing of Ruya, Bifituu Kadir, threw a metal water bottle at Kinner and rushed toward him, causing deputies and court marshals to restrain her. She was taken out of the courtroom while calling out, “Ruya, Ruya, Ruya!”
The incident caused a brief recess. Once the hearing reconvened, Baskin told the court that Kadir and other family members would watch the remainder from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
Baskin asked Kinner whether he was struck by the water bottle, to which he replied, “thankfully, no.” Kadir had lashed out at Kinner before, yelling and asking why he killed her daughter during a hearing in August 2018.
David Smethers, a defense attorney, told the court that Kinner committed the crime while in the middle of a psychotic episode, and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Though he asked for concurrent sentences, Smethers acknowledged that there was not really an outcome other than life in prison.
“He will never leave ISCI (Idaho State Correctional Institute) for the rest of his life,” Smethers said.
Baskin said she didn’t believe Kinner could be released back into society safely at any point, referencing his inconsistent management of his mental health. She ultimately opted to abide by a plea agreement the defense had struck with prosecutors.
On March 30, Kinner pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, eight counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of use of a deadly weapon in the attack. After he was arrested and charged, Kinner faced the death penalty, but following his guilty pleas in March, prosecutors said in court filings that they would not pursue capital punishment.
The rampage took place on June 30, 2018, at an apartment complex just off State Street, on Wylie Lane, that was home to many refugees who had escaped violence in their home countries before coming to Idaho. Kinner had been staying there with a resident.
Kinner was ruled incompetent to stand trial on different occasions after his arrest — and even called “dangerously mentally ill” in an order issued by Judge Baskin. His competency was later restored and he was deemed able to proceed to trial.
The first to testify during Thursday’s lengthy hearing was Juliet Yackel, a mitigation specialist for capital punishment cases who conducted hundreds of interviews with Kinner’s family and others who came to know him over the years. She detailed Kinner’s childhood and difficult upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee. Yackel told the court that both of Kinner’s parents were crack cocaine users when he was young, and some of his siblings also have a history of mental health problems.
Kinner mostly has been held in the Ada County Jail since his arrest in 2018, with the exception of a stay in a state prison to help with mental health treatment. He will be transferred to the Idaho Department of Correction to serve his sentence.
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