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Kip Kinkel - The Trial

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Less than twenty-four hours after his initial arrest, Kip Kinkel was back in the custody of the Springfield Police Department. Secured in an interview room and locked in handcuffs, Kip managed to retrieve a hunting knife he had taped to his leg and attacked the returning detective. He was quickly subdued. During the ensuing interview, Kip confessed to killing his parents. The recovery of their bodies was delayed while officials disarmed a series of bombs in the Kinkel home, including one placed under his mother's body.

On May 22 Kip was arraigned and charged with four counts of aggravated murder, and in June he was indicted on an additional fifty-eight felony charges. Under a plea agreement entered September 24, 1999, Kip pled guilty to four counts of murder and twenty-six counts of attempted murder. The guilty plea eliminated a jury trial as well as the possibility of Kip being acquitted by an insanity defense.

Both sides had tried cases in Lane County before circuit court judge Jack Mattison and had found him to be fair. Before deciding Kinkel's sentence, the judge heard testimony from detectives and physicians as well as friends and family of both the accused and his victims. The defense presented a number of experts in an effort to prove Kip was mentally ill. After a six-day hearing, Kip Kinkel was sentenced to 111 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Kinkel was immediately transferred to MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, a state juvenile prison where violent offenders undergo a program of intensive therapy. Offenders remain at the facility until it is determined they are suitable for adult prison. Kinkel's defense team began a series of appeals. In January 2004, Kinkel's attorneys filed a petition seeking a new trial. The petition, filed in Marion County Circuit Court in Salem, Oregon, claimed evidence of Kinkel's mental illness had been disregarded at his trial.

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