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Shooting Defendant In Adult Jail

August 31, 1998

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) _ As his former schoolmates return to classes this week, the teen-ager accused of killing two fellow students and wounding two dozen others has been moved into an adult jail cell.

Kip Kinkel was transferred to Lane County Jail on Sunday, his 16th birthday. He is locked alone in his cell for 23 hours a day and is on suicide watch, meaning he’s checked every 15 minutes.

At Thurston High School, freshmen come in today for orientation and the entire student body returns to class Tuesday.

Kinkel is charged as an adult with four counts of aggravated murder for the May 20 killings of his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel, and in the killings the next day of Thurston students Mikael Nickolauson and Ben Walker. He’s also accused of wounding two dozen other students in the attack in a school hallway and cafeteria.

He is scheduled to stand trial next April.

Although Kinkel was not disruptive during his stay at the Skipworth Juvenile Detention Center in Eugene, officials there said they looked forward to his transfer in part because that facility was not designed for maximum security.

At the county jail, he will be allowed one hour a day along in the dayroom, where he can watch television and read books and newspapers, said sheriff’s Lt. Bud Spencer.

For 50 minutes once a week, he will be allowed to walk around the jail’s outdoor exercise yard and will have visiting rights of 48 minutes per week.

In addition to aggravated murder, Kinkel faces 26 counts of attempted aggravated murder, six counts of first-degree assault, 18 counts of second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, possession of a destructive device and first-degree theft.

If convicted, he could face life behind bars. Under Oregon law, juveniles cannot get the death penalty.

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