Kinn Ruled Competent, Jury Trial To Begin In August
Nearly 7 months after his lawyers requested a competency evaluation, Jacob William Kinn, 33, has been found fit to stand trial. In court documents filed on Wednesday morning, Judge Shari R. Schluchter ruled based on the evidence presented that Kinn has the ability to consult with counsel, is able to understand the proceedings and can participate in his defense.
Kinn was arrested on June 23, 2016, for allegedly kidnapping a 5-year-old girl following a house fire in Bemidji. A body inside the home was identified as Melissa Norby, 35. No one has been charged in her death, but an autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office found she had died of homicidal violence.
The child was found about 70 miles northeast of Bemidji, in a pop-up camper near Bigfork. The camper was on a property belonging to Kinn’s brother.
Kinn was charged on June 27, 2016, with one count of kidnapping. On September 16, 2016, he was also charged with 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.
Kinn’s competency came into question in early October, when he “intentionally overdosed” on his albuterol inhaler, according to court documents. He was taken to the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center for treatment.
At first, he was able to speak in complete sentences, asked to use the restroom and for some pain medication. When he was told by staff that he would be discharged and taken back to jail, he stopped moving, talking and refused to eat.
Multiple evaluations by doctors at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, found that “the behaviors were of his own choice and inconsistent with any known physical illness.”
Now that the judge has issued a final ruling on his competency, the court will move ahead with a jury trial.
A contested omnibus hearing will be held at the Beltrami County Courthouse on June 6th. A pre-trial conference will be held on July 21 at 9 AM. The jury trial is scheduled for August 3rd at 9 AM, and is tentatively expected to last seven days.