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Boise mass stabbing suspect Kinner pleads guilty to 2018 murder of 3-year-old girl

UPDATED: Tue., March 30, 2021

By Jacob Scholl, </p><p>Ian Max Stevenson </p><p>and Nicole Blanchard Idaho Statesman

Timmy Kinner, a man arrested in 2018 after a mass stabbing in Boise that killed a 3-year-old girl at her birthday party, has pleaded guilty to several crimes.

According to a news release from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, 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. The pleas were part of a stipulated plea agreement.

Kinner faced a potential death sentence after he was arrested on suspicion of stabbing and killing 3-year-old Ruya Kadir during the child’s birthday party on June 30, 2018. Eight other people – five of them children – were wounded during the attack. Since his arrest, Kinner’s mental status has been the subject of several court hearings, as he was ruled incompetent to stand trial for several months after his arrest. He was declared mentally fit to stand trial in October 2019.

Court records show a motion was made sometime Monday to have an in-person hearing the following day that would include closed and partially closed segments. The closed hearing was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and the other at 9 a.m., according to court records. Kinner signed off on the plea agreement during the hearings.

Kinner was slated for a jury trial in September that was expected to last eight weeks. His next court appearance now will be for his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 10 in an Ada County courtroom.

Anmar Lafta, who is related to several of the stabbing victims, told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday that he wants Kinner sentenced to death. It’s not known whether the plea agreement leaves that option open.

“What he did to children, to the family, he broke family hearts and he killed children. Those people should go to death without even thinking about it,” Lafta said in a phone interview. “… They’re not adults, they hadn’t seen life yet. They ran away from war to come here, and look what happened to them.”

Alex Mutlak said his family is “relieved.” He’s the brother of Mustafa Mutlak, whose wife and two of his children were injured in the attack.

Mustafa, when contacted by the Statesman, had Alex speak instead.

“We just want everybody to be safe, because the crimes he did against kids are horrible,” Alex said in a phone interview. “That was terrifying to see a grown man attacking kids at a birthday party. We just wish that justice will take place and we pray for his soul to be forgiven by God.

“… We thank the city and the police department and the justice system because they made us feel more safe at home after the accidents.”

Kinner’s guilty plea covers the stabbings of people at an apartment complex on Wylie Lane where he had been staying with a resident. Many of the residents and victims were refugees who had escaped violence in their home countries before arriving in Idaho. Kinner had reportedly been asked to leave by the resident he’d been staying with a week prior to the rampage. Victims said they had no prior association with him.

Julianne Donnelly Tzul, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Boise, noted that the plea deal will prevent a potentially difficult trial for the victims.

“Our heartfelt care goes out to the families who were impacted, and our gratitude goes to the Boise community who wrapped services and support around our Wylie neighbors in an extraordinarily difficult time,” she said. “We, at the IRC in Boise, are grateful that the families who survived the Wylie mass stabbing attack will be spared the experience of reliving the incident with a lengthy trial. We once again thank the community for respecting the privacy of the impacted families.”

Kinner, originally from Memphis, arrived in Boise several weeks before the June 2018 stabbing, according to previous Statesman reporting. It wasn’t clear what brought him out West, but people who interacted with Kinner before the stabbing told the Statesman that he’d been polite and friendly when seeking out resources at local homeless shelters and aid organizations. After the violent incident, he faced drawn-out court proceedings as officials tried to establish his competency for trial.

Many of the victims of his rampage had been attending the birthday party of Ruya, who died two days after the stabbing. Vigils and memorials for Ruya followed, with loved ones remembering her as “an angel” who loved daisies and roses, as well as all things pink and purple.

“She was my world. And if no one stopped me, I could talk forever about my Ruya,” the girl’s mother, Bifituu Kadir, said during a memorial days after the stabbing. “She was a gift from God. … She came to us on her birthday, and she left on her birthday. Her name in Turkish means dream. And she came to us like a dream.”

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