OMAHA, Neb. – A man convicted of killing four people in Omaha in 2013 was sentenced to death Tuesday by a three-judge panel.
The panel issued its ruling in the case of Nikko Jenkins, who was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder for the August 2013 shooting deaths.
The court had the option of sentencing Jenkins to death or life in prison. The judges cited the gruesome nature of the murders in their decision.
Jenkins pleaded no contest in 2014, but his conviction has been for a year, because of concerns about his mental competence. His defence psychiatrist said Jenkins is suffering from schizophrenia and perhaps a bipolar disorder. Defense lawyers have noted Jenkins’ habit of tattooing his face and self-mutilation while in prison, as well as his ramblings in the court of law, if evidence of a deterioration of the mental state.
State psychiatrists, however, have repeatedly stated that Jenkins is healthy and testified during the case that he is faking a mental illness.
Just 11 days after his release from prison, where he for 10 years for two carjackings, Jenkins shot Juan Uribe-Pena and Jorge Cajiga-Ruizon on Aug. 11, 2013.
Prosecutors say eight days later, Jenkins and his sister killed Curtis Bradford, a one-time prison acquaintance. Then, on Aug. 21, police say, Jenkins pulled Andrea Kruger from her SUV as she drove home from work and shot her four times before speeding off in her vehicle.
The prosecutors argued that Jenkins planned the killings to cover up robberies of the victims or to keep them from identifying him, Jenkins insisted an Egyptian god ordered him in a foreign language to kill the four human sacrifices.
Jenkins was eventually found competent to stand trial and allowed to represent himself for much of it. He was then allowed in 2014 to plead no contest to the murder charges. A no-contest plea acknowledges there is sufficient evidence to convict but is not an admission of guilt.